Jamie-Lynn Sigler: The Sopranos actress diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

Sigler was diagnosed with MS 15 years ago 

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jamie-Lynn Sigler has discussed being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for the first time in a bid to challenge the perception of the disease.

The Sopranos actress played Meadow, the daughter of mob boss Tony Soprano, on the HBO series for ten years. More recently, she appeared as herself in the series Entourage

In an interview with People, Sigler, 34, described how she kept her MS a secret during filming, telling the magazine: “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.”

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing a number of symptoms such as fatigue, blurry or double vision, muscles spasms, problems with balance, thinking and learning. There is no cure for MS but a number of treatments are available to help manage the condition. 

Sigler said she is “overwhelmed” by the support she is receiving after her interview. 

She recently married the baseball player Cutter Dykstra and the pair have  a two-year-old son together. 

Explaining how MS has changed her life now, she said: ”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. When I walk, I have to think about every single step, which is annoying and frustrating.“ 

However, Sigler is on medication to manage her symptoms, has never needed a wheelchair and is keen to emphasise that she is living a normal life. 

“In my lifetime I think there will be a cure, and my doctor tells me that all the time,” she added. “There is not a lot of research into MS […] and, if given the proper attention, hopefully there will be better days ahead.”