Tisha Campbell Says She's Been in Remission from Sarcoidosis for Years: 'Have Not Been Sick Ever Since I Got a Divorce'

Campbell said avoiding stress and taking great care of her health helped her go into remission

<p>CraSH/imageSPACE/Shutterstock</p> Tisha Campbell in May


Tisha Campbell in May

Tisha Campbell is speaking out about her sarcoidosis diagnosis — and how she's maintained her health in recent years.

During a Wednesday, June 5, appearance on the mibo show podcast, hosted by former music executive Shanti Das, the Martin alum, 55, revealed that she has been in remission from the inflammatory disease for years.

"I have been in remission for four years now," she said during the episode, which was taped in front of an audience at the Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J. "They can't find it at the base of my brain at all."

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Campbell had sarcoidosis for many years. Back in 2011, she told PEOPLE that she had had the disease for nearly 10 years at that point, but was managing it well through diet and exercise.

The Little Shop of Horrors actress also said during the podcast interview that because of her disease, she feared getting sick because "every cold took me to the hospital."

"I haven't gotten sick, not one time. And I was so scared to get Covid because I thought, 'If I get Covid, I'm gonna die,' " she revealed. "...Just every sniffle, allergies... It would build up and I would get sick."

"But I have not been sick ever since I got a divorce," she joked, to lots of laughter from host Das and and the audience.

Related: Tisha Campbell and Duane Martin Finalize Divorce 2 Years After Announcing Split

Campbell was married to Duane Martin, 58, for over 20 years and the pair share two kids together. She first announced her split from Martin in February 2018, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for their breakup in her initial filing. The pair finalized their divorce in December 2020.

"It’s been getting harder and harder for them for the last two years. But it just got to the breaking point recently," a source told PEOPLE back in 2018. "It’s one of those things where they’ve been talking about it and fighting it out and trying to come to a conscious uncoupling."

Elsewhere in the interview, Campbell recalled the moments leading up to her original diagnosis with the inflammatory disease, as she was filming on the set of My Wife and Kids.

"I had this cold — what I assumed was a cold — for a very long time. I had taken everything over the counter, under the counter — behind the counter, not under the counter, [but] probably did some of that too," she joked. "I just could not breathe."

"It felt like an elephant was on my chest and I remember being on the set of My Wife and Kids and asking you know the [assistant directors] if they could call a doctor to come to the set because, you know, at this point, I know I have to have some type of, like, pneumonia," she recalled.

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell in 2014


Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell in 2014

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"I was doing a scene and it's still on to this day," she said, remembering the exact scene she was filming while sick. "It's hard for me to watch this scene. I had to sing 'Ease On Down the Road.' I could see after I finished the song — and you can see it too because it's on television — that I was panicked in my eyes. I can't breathe, but I was continuing on with the scene."

Soon after, she recalled being told by doctors that she had stage one Sarcoidosis on both of her lungs and at the base of her brain, making her lymph nodes swell and making it hard for her to breathe.

According to the American Lung Association, Sarcoidosis occurs when granulomas — or tiny groups of inflamed tissue — form in various organs, especially the lungs, after the immune system overreacts.

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The rare disease has four stages, and it impacts Black women more on average. They are three times more likely to be diagnosed with it than White women are, the ALA states.

For Campbell, progressing to stage four of the disease scared her — especially after seeing it in her fellow TV star Bernie Mac's life — and she fought it in every way possible, including taking steroids, exercising her lungs through singing, and avoiding stress.

"I'm just telling y'all the freaking truth, stress is a killer," the Not Another Church Movie star told the crowd. "Yeah, it is. And it's connected to your body."

"I am here to say that I have I am so proud of where I am in my mental health and my physical health now," she finished. "Because I understood that they are a combination. Whether you have any type of of disorder, it's important to understand you got to do everything that's right."

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