When you’re a well-known actor or actress, much of your private life isn’t very private. Being on camera and in magazines, people naturally want to know more about you. Where do you come from? What do you like to do? How did you get to where you are now?
Keeping secrets can be difficult when you’re in the spotlight.
And yet, for the past 15 years, actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler has managed to keep a pretty big secret. She has multiple sclerosis.
Coming to Terms with MS
At the age of 20, Jamie’s career had just taken off. She was one of the starring roles in HBO’s huge hit, The Sopranos. Life was happening exactly how she had dreamed. It was then that the doctor’s delivered some shocking news.
Jamie had multiple sclerosis (MS).
She quickly panicked. What would this mean for her life? For her career? Would she be able to keep doing the show? How would people view her?
Unable to predict what would happen if the truth came out, Jamie-Lynn Sigler made a very difficult decision. She decided she would hide her condition, as best she could. The Sopranos continued on till 2007, and Jamie appeared in all 86 episodes.
Not that it was easy.
There were days of pain and discomfort, moments of complete exhaustion. Times where she said she just needed 5 or 10 minutes to recharge, but wouldn’t ask because she was afraid of raising suspicion. After The Sopranos ended, Jamie continued working regularly in TV and movies.
Over the past decade, her condition has worsened. She can’t run. She needs to sit and rest after walking for an extended period of time. Each step is something she has to think about and consciously take.
And while she finds it frustrating at times, she’s not letting it get her down. In fact, she’s finally come to accept and be comfortable with the fact that she has MS. For years, she felt fear and shame, as if it were her fault or it made her less of a person.
Now that she has come to terms with her MS, Jamie is excited about the future and the season of life she’s in. She wants to give other people with MS hope that it’s not the end. She wants to be an example of strength and courage.
About Multiple Sclerosis
MS is a condition that affects the central nervous system, causing a disruption in the signals sent back and forth between the brain and the body. The severity and symptoms of MS can vary drastically from person to person. Some with MS may only experience brief moments of exhaustion or loss of coordination while others need a wheelchair to get around.
Depending on the type of MS a person has, they may go through relapses and periods of increased pain or disability. Others experience progressive affects that grow more severe over time.
Jamie-Lynn is not the first celebrity to announce they have MS. Jack Osbourne, son of legendary rockstar Ozzy Osbourne revealed he has MS back in 2012. Similar to Jamie, talk-show host Montel Williams hid his MS for years out of fear that it might affect his career or how people treat him.
There is no cure currently for MS, though there are a number of treatments available that can help with pain, discomfort, and mobility. Certain exercises, stretches, and physical activity can also help as well.
At Rollx Vans, we’re proud to be able to provide van conversions for those with MS. If you or someone you know has MS, we encourage you to share your own story in the comment section below.