Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler has lived with Multiple Sclerosis for more than two decades of her life. Despite the limitations of the disease, she lives a full life with her husband and two children.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler is most famous for her stellar performance in the HBO series "Sopranos." Sigler played the role of Meadow Soprano, the spoiled Soprano daughter who later learns about the harsh realities of life.
The talented actress brought the character to life effortlessly but unknown to many; behind the scenes, in her real life, Sigler was fighting a private battle ― an incurable disease called multiple sclerosis.
Jamie Lynn Sigler at SiriusXM at SiriusXM Studios on February 27, 2020 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images
SIGLER'S BATTLE WITH MS
Although Sigler had been attending the Race to Erase MS Gala for years, no one knew that she was not attending as a VIP embracing the cause but as someone living with the neurological disease.
In an interview with Glamour, the New York native revealed that she was first diagnosed with MS when she was 20 but kept it a secret for a long time. Explaining her reasons, she said:
"I didn't tell anyone [about my multiple sclerosis]. It's very surreal because it's an event that I used to go to and would think, 'No one even knows I have this.'"
The Hollywood star recalled getting the diagnosis from her doctor and how he told her that having MS shouldn't stop her from doing whatever she wanted in life. That was the moment Sigler embraced MS as part of her identity.
Opening up about living with the condition, Sigler noted that MS was a misunderstood disease. She explained that with the use of the prescribed treatment, the symptoms become less rampant.
Much more than "The Sopranos" putting Sigler on the map, the HBO crime drama series helped improve her health.
She revealed that she had been consistent with her treatment for years and has been quite stable with a few relapses. She has since embraced the disease and become a spokesperson for it.
SIGLER'S PERSONAL LIFE AND MOTHERHOOD
Although Sigler looks at her disease through a positive lens, that wasn't always the case. During the interview, the "Mob Town" star admitted that she was secretive with her diagnosis because she was afraid.
She feared that work would stop coming her way and people would treat her as a sick person. Luckily, that hasn't been the case since her coming out. Sigler has been living a full life but not without some struggles.
Getting candid with her challenges, the 40-year-old confessed that she hasn't been able to run in over ten years as she starts to stiffen because her brain doesn't coordinate with her legs.
The mother-of-two also spoke about how MS affects her parenting. She noted that she thinks about the disease every day because of her sons, Beau Kyle, 7, and Jack Adams, 3.
In an emotional essay for Shondaland, the actress recalled how devastated she felt when she heard she was pregnant with Beau because she realized that her MS could affect someone else.
Sigler wrote that her disease had affected her entire family, especially her sons, as she can't keep up entirely with their active nature. However, she tries her best to be present in their lives, and they offer all the reassurance and love she could ever need.
SIGLER'S SECOND MARRIAGE
Amid her battle with MS, one constant support system the "Catblock" star has had is her second husband, Cutter Dykstra. Sigler and Dykstra, a pro footballer, met through mutual friends in 2012.
Within weeks of dating, the actress confided in her boyfriend about her diagnosis, and to her surprise, Dykstra wasn't fazed. He has remained by her side ever since, helping her through whatever tough times come her way.
In an interview with People, the doting husband admitted that it was sometimes difficult to watch his wife struggle as he always wants to help her. He also gushed about how proud he was when she went public with her diagnosis.
A year after dating, the lovebirds got engaged and walked down the aisle three years later in January 2016. In January 2018, they made headlines after welcoming their second son Jack.
SIGLER'S EATING DISORDER
Much more than "The Sopranos" putting Sigler on the map, the HBO crime drama series helped improve her health. The talented actress went public with her experience with the eating disorder bulimia in 2005.
Years after telling her story, she credited the cast of "Sopranos" for helping her overcome the habit as they encouraged her to put on weight, which caused her to take a step back and become aware of her condition.
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