By Jane Asher
Updated Oct 14, 2016 @ 10:45 am
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Bella Hadid might be famous for her natural beauty and rocking the runway from New York and London to Paris and Milan, but what many people don't know is her daily battle against Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that, if not caught early, can lead to years of chronic exhaustion, bone pain, and even heart disease. Hadid and her mother Yolanda Foster have taken an active role in speaking out about Lyme disease prevention and cure, and on Thursday night, the 20-year-old was honored at the Global Lyme Alliance’s second annual "United for a Lyme-Free World" gala for her dedication to bringing awareness to this chronic disease.

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"My mom got honored last year, so this year was really cool for me to be able to get honored," Hadid told InSyle. "I'm just excited to be able to talk and to hear other people talk, and it's a huge honor for me and ... I'm happy to be here." Foster added to Hadid's sentiments, saying, "I think the most important for Bella and her age group is to use her platform to bring awareness to this disease."

Hadid, who has her treatments every day, said it can be tough to keep going, but she powers through anyway: "I've been doing it for four years now, so it's kind of just my life, even though work is hard, I usually nap during [the day] ... and people around me know what I'm going through."

WATCH: 10 Times Bella Hadid Rocked the Runway

In her acceptance speech, Hadid talked about her original diagnosis back in high school that put a pause on her entire life, forcing her to be homeschooled starting in 10th grade, and giving up on her horseback riding career, one that she "dreamt of having since I was a kid, before I could remember, what I did every single day until I got sick."

"I'm so happy I can bring recognition to something that has affected our lives so much," she said. "I'd really like to dedicate this award to all the teenagers out there that have really gone through what I'm going through and have suffered from this disease ... I know where you're coming from, you're not alone." The supermodel concluded her speech with a special dedication to her mother, who also suffers from the disease: "I'm so grateful that have my amazing mom to force me to take my medications, get my IVs, and go to our never-ending doctors appointments," she said smiling at her mom in the audience. "And for always understanding me when I say I'm just not okay today ... I'm so lucky to have her."

We are wishing this rising model health and success in her growing career.