No more hiding. Jamie-Lynn Sigler has come forward to tell her fans that she has been battling multiple sclerosis for 15 years, People reports.
MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system and disrupts information within the brain. Though it can lead to people being wheelchair-bound, the MS Society notes that two-thirds of people diagnosed with the disease are able to walk. MS can affect vision, mobility, balance and speech. There is currently no cure.
“I feel that it’s important for me to share that I have MS now because I think that I’m at a point in my life with my son, with my marriage — it’s a new me, and I want to live my truth,” Sigler, 34, told People. “I don’t want to hold a secret where it feels like I have something to be ashamed of or I have something to hide.”
The Sopranos star was diagnosed with MS at the age of 20, but says at the time she was in “denial.”
“It was a shock,” she admitted. “It was surprising. I had been diagnosed with Lyme disease a year before, so to get the diagnosis was confusing and also strange because I didn’t feel sick. I didn’t feel like anything was really wrong. At the time, my ideas of MS were limited.… I thought it meant wheelchair. I thought it meant your life was over.”
These days, Sigler is the proud mom of 2-year-old Beau. Just this past weekend, she wed her fiancé of three years, Cutter Dykstra.
“I want to change people’s ideas of what this disease means to them and possibly give people hope that it’s not the end,” she says. “In my lifetime I think there really will be a cure and my doctor tells me that all the time. And I don’t think he’s telling me that just to feel better.”
Other stars who have MS include Jack Osbourne and Montel Williams.