Behind the carefree attitude she displays on "Modern Family", Sarah Hyland is hiding a life-long battle with a serious illness. The 21-year-old beauty has been suffering from kidney dysplasia from the age of 9, and quietly underwent a kidney transplant in early April. When opening up about her disease in recent interviews, she shared the lesson she learned.
During an interview with "Good Morning America" Monday, May 14, the Manhattan-born actress offered some encouraging words, "Know that you're not alone. Even though it may seem like it a lot of the time." She added, "And that if you ask, 'Why me?' Well, why not you? You know? It makes you the person that you are today."
Talking about her own battle with the disease, Hyland revealed a secret on how she hid her pain when she has to portray Haley Dunphy. "I try and make it so that Haley is always sitting down," she spilled. "If you notice, she's always sitting down a lot...or leaning and texting. When Haley walks up the stairs that's like my work out for the week."
Before speaking to "GMA", Hyland discussed in the June/July issue of Seventeen how her family has been a great support for her as she battled her disease. In fact, the girlfriend of Matt Prokop revealed that it was her father, actor Edward James Hyland, who donated the kidney for her transplant surgery.
"You know that family is going to be there for you no matter what," she told the magazine. "My dad gave me a freakin' kidney! But it's also the families that you create outside of your family. And you really find out what kind of people you're friends with. It was just amazing, and it really opened my eyes to see who's there for me and who's not."
As for her boyfriend, Hyland has nothing but praises for him. "He helps me with my medication and takes me to doctor appointments and all the stuff that I need to do to take care of myself. Any other 21-year-old guy would not be there, I guarantee it," she gushed before adding, "I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have him be there for me."