Jamie-Lynn Sigler Reveals Multiple Sclerosis Battle 15 Years After Diagnosis

Sopranos alum became sick when she was 20
By Francesca Bacardi Jan 20, 2016 3:52 PMTags
Jamie-Lynn SiglerMichael Simon/startraksphoto.com

Newlywed Jamie-Lynn Sigler revealed she has multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Sopranos alum, who just tied the knot with former Washington Nationals infielder Cutter Dykstra, told People that she was diagnosed about 15 years ago. "I wasn't ready until now," Sigler said of coming clean about her illness. "You'd think that after all these years, somebody would be settled with something like this, but it's still hard to accept."

She also opened up about it on Instagram.

Sigler, 34, said she initially lived a symptom-free life "for quite some time" but eventually it "reared its ugly head." The actress described her symptoms, which are under control for now, to the publication, but fortunately she keeps a positive attitude and a sense of humor about her illness.

"I can't walk for a long period of time without resting. I cannot run. No superhero roles for me," she joked. "Stairs? I can do them but they're not the easiest. When I walk, I have to think about every single step, which is annoying and frustrating."

Hi. My name is Jamie, and I have Multiple Scelrosis. This has been a part of me, that for many reasons I was terrified to share for the last 15 years since I was diagnosed..but I've finally found the strength to come forward and be ok with who I really am and trust that life will still have things to offer even though I have this disease. It has slowed me down and it can make things hard, but there is still a lot I CAN do. I hope I can be an example to anyone struggling out there to push through and past your circumstances. I want to thank @people magazine for sharing my story in such a huge way and allowing me to reach out. Your publication always handles stories so beautifully, and mine is no exception. And an even bigger thank you to my husband, my son, my family and my friends (who are my family.)..You all have fiercely protected me over the years when I was too scared to share this publicly, for fear that everything would go away. You stood by me, helped me when I needed it, and always made me feel loved and worthy of things even when I felt less than and different. I really am a lucky girl and I can't wait to see what life has in store for me now that I can finally live my truth Love to all of you. XX??Jamie ??: by the wonderful @andrewsoutham

A photo posted by @jamielynnsigler on

Choosing to keep her disease a secret meant that it often became difficult to come up with explanations why she was struggling during work. "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," she explained.

MS doesn't have a cure, but Sigler pretty much has tried everything in terms of treatment, from injections to infusions, but has finally found success with a twice-daily pill that has kept her symptoms at bay for about six years. "Things are manageable now," the "Cry Baby" singer added. "It takes a fighting attitude to deal with all this. This disease can absolutely take over your life if you let it."