Jewish actress and “Sopranos” star Jamie-Lynn Sigler has just divulged a deeply personal secret: She’s had a 15-year battle with multiple sclerosis. This is very sad news indeed, considering MS can be debilitating.
In an interview with People, the 34-year-old mom said this is still hard to accept after all these years. Sigler was diagnosed at 20 years old while she was acting on the “Sopranos,” and mentioned that she’s started to see symptoms in the last 10 years:
“I wasn’t ready until now. You’d think that after all these years, somebody would be settled with something like this, but it’s still hard to accept…I can’t walk for a long period of time without resting. I cannot run. No superhero roles for me. Stairs? I can do them but they’re not the easiest.”
Despite her struggles with MS, things are looking up for Sigler–she’s had a happy year, considering she just she married Major League Baseball player Cutter Dykstra last week in Palm Springs, California, after being engaged for three years. Sigler also became a mom two years ago to her son, Beau.
While she was on the “Sopranos,” however, she hid her disease from cast members, despite the fact that her symptoms were starting to affect her. She explained to People that she’s relieved she’s not keeping a secret anymore, stating:
“Sometimes all I needed was like five or 10 minutes to sit and recharge but I wouldn’t ask, because I didn’t want them to be suspicious. Things are manageable now. It takes a fighting attitude to deal with all this. This disease can absolutely take over your life if you let it.
I’m at a point in my life with my son, with my new marriage, it’s a new me. I don’t want to hold a secret where it feels like I have something to be ashamed of or have something to hide.”
Sadly, Sigler is totally right about the disease. According to National Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS is “an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.”
It’s truly inspiring to see Sigler dealing with MS so well, and revealing her health struggles to her fans, because it may help others with the disease feel less alone.