What We Know About August Alsina's Autoimmune Disease

August Alsina captured attention as soon as he burst into the rapping and R&B scene in 2012. A year later, the New Orleans musician found success with his singles "I Luv This Sh*t" with Trinidad James and "No Love," featuring Nicki Minaj. According to the Recording Industry Association of America's website, his first single went platinum in 2014, the same year Alsina released his first studio album, "Testimony," which included both hits. A series of his other songs went on to achieve the feat.

Alsina was slated to become a new fixture on the music scene, but that's not what happened. Between 2015 and 2019, Alsina produced virtually no music, as he took a break from work to deal with health and personal issues. The hiatus came after Alsina concerned his fans and loved ones in 2014 when he collapsed onstage at a New York concert, as Time reported at the time. Following the incident, he shared that he suffers from a serious autoimmune disease. 

During his time away from the spotlight, Alsina took to his social media sporadically to update fans and let them know that he valued their support. On July 8, 2019, Alsina shared a clip to Instagram that showed him in the hospital with a bandage around his hand. "I take my career & your time very seriously & the fact that you guys show up for me, endlessly. Means the world!" he wrote in the caption. Keep reading to learn what we know about his condition.

August Alsina's autoimmune disease affects his liver

In 2017, August Alsina shared he had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affects his liver, a condition that runs in his family, Billboard reported. "I have a liver disease where my autoimmune system is fighting against itself. Reality is I'm sick all the time," he said in a video, per the report. In another clip, he explained that his father and his grandfather died from "severe illness," but pledged to fight with all his might just like they had, Billboard noted. 

 In 2019, Alsina was hospitalized after losing the ability to walk entirely. In a series of video clips posted on Instagram (via Fox News), Alsina shared that, this time around, the condition affected his nervous system, leaving him paralyzed. "So, here's the stitch: I woke up one day and wasn't able to walk. I couldn't feel my legs and my doctor ended up admitting me into the hospital ... It's like my immune system went on vacation," he said, panning the camera to show his walker, calling it his "new car."

In a clip of a five-part documentary about his struggles, Alsina explained that the condition prevents his liver from doing its job, which is to filter out toxins. That means that those toxins will travel freely through his system and reach his brain, causing confusion and memory loss. Alsina admitted that talking about his illness was hard because he initially saw it as a "weakness." 

August Alsina has also dealt with personal tragedy

As he handled his own illness, August Alsina's beloved sister-in-law, Chandra, died from cancer on Christmas 2018, which he announced on his Instagram. The tragedy came eight years after the death of Chandra's fiancé and Alsina's brother, Melvin LaBranch III, who was fatally shot in New Orleans in August 2010, The Times-Picayune reported. Chandra's death also meant that her and LaBranch's three daughters were now orphans. "My Sister, My friend, life giver to my nieces, my hair magician, my biggest supporter, my number one fan. We lost such a beautiful soul on Christmas Night... Please say hello to Melvin & hug him for me," Alsina wrote. 

As People reported, Alsina stepped in as the girls' legal guardian in 2018 at the request of Chandra, whom Alsina simply refers to as his sister. "I'm striving to be an example for my 'naughters.' And I want them to know and trust that they're going to be alright here with or without me, or without any man, without any woman, without any parent," he told the magazine, referring to Chaylin, Amaiya, and Kayden, who were 14, 13, and 11 in 2020.

The past several years have undoubtedly been hard for Alsina. Considering what he has been through, his cryptic September 20 Instagram post about his latest projects being his "last" worried his fans. "It is my hope that we can enjoy each other while I'm here, on my last victory lap around the sun," he wrote.