The “Vanderpump Rules” cast came together this weekend to host a fundraiser for makeup artist Jared Lipscomb, who is battling leukemia.
“In this town, you get a lot of people who are your work friends, and when you’re not working, you’re not friends,” Lipscomb, 31, told Page Six in an exclusive interview. “It blew me away that it goes so much deeper than that — that we’ve formed such bonds and friendships that they would feel so inclined to do something so helpful.”
Lipscomb, who frequently works with “Vanderpump Rules” cast members Brittany Cartwright, Katie Maloney, Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute and Ariana Madox, said he notified the women via a group text that he had been diagnosed in late August with acute myeloid leukemia. Cartwright, 30, and Doute, 36, immediately began planning a fundraiser.
“As soon as they found out that my hospital bill was going to be so high, they started planning,” he said. “Literally while I was in my first week of chemo.”
In July, Lipscomb, who said he doesn’t have a family history of cancer, started to feel “bizarre” symptoms that didn’t appear to align with any one illness. He was experiencing headaches, vomiting, nausea and shortness of breath.
He said he visited four urgent care facilities, the hospital three times, a primary care doctor, and even a gastroenterologist, but they all gave him pain medications and sent him home.
“I had just gone actually to Brittany and Jax [Taylor]’s wedding,” Lipscomb said. “I was in the city side of Lexington [in Kentucky] at the gorgeous castle. I wasn’t outside much, but you still think it’s out of state, so maybe there was just something that I’m not used to being in contact with. Cancer was the last thing on my mind.”
After losing 30 pounds in the span of a month, Lipscomb went to the UCLA emergency room, where he received his diagnosis. He immediately had to cancel a booked glam appointment with Cartwright for the following week to get started on chemotherapy.
“Obviously everyone is very understanding and very sweet about it, but I did miss a lot of work and continue to miss a lot of work,” Lipscomb said. “It happened very quickly. You don’t get a lot of time to process.”
As of Tuesday, Lipscomb has raised more than $59,000 of his $750,000 goal, including a $2,000 donation from Schroeder, 31, and a $1,000 donation from Madix, 34. Other celebrities like Kaitlynn Carter and Chrishell Hartley have also donated.
Lipscomb said the financial support means a lot to him because he’s been in a battle with his insurance company, saying if he’d known about the issues he’d experience with insurance, “I would have stopped drinking my Starbucks for one month and just started paying more. I had no idea that I would get cancer at 31. As my career is booming, as I’m working with more celebrities, as everything is starting to happen, that it would come to a screeching halt.”
He briefly got to do glam with the “Vanderpump Rules” cast for Season 8’s opening credits, but didn’t stay long.
“It was more of a pop by because I was finally able to leave my apartment after I was out of the hospital,” Lipscomb said. “It was just a little surprise and was really nice.”
On Saturday, Lisa Vanderpump shut down part of her restaurant SUR in Los Angeles to host an event in Lipscomb’s honor. He shared that in addition to providing the space, the restaurant also made a donation that was “very generous.”
Even though Doute and Schroeder are rumored to have problems this season on their show, both reality stars put their differences aside for Lipscomb and attended the event.
The makeup artist is now in remission, but said he won’t be completely cancer-free until he gets a bone marrow transplant. He is still waiting to find a match.
In the meantime, he is getting started on his second round of chemotherapy, but maintaining a positive outlook.
“No matter what happens there is power in positivity,” Lipscomb shared, adding that he is looking forward to his dream job of “working with Nicole Kidman” one day.