Jamie-Lynn Sigler is finally ready to live her truth!
The actress, who just married pro baseball player Cutter Dykstra (they were engaged for almost three years) talked to the People about her battle with multiple sclerosis (MS), which she was diagnosed with at 20 years old. I know! That’s a long time to not talk openly about her condition. She says:
“I wasn’t ready until now,” Sigler says of revealing 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.”
And it’s definitely taken a toll on her career and activity.
“I can’t walk for a long period of time without resting. I cannot run. No superhero roles for me,” she says, laughing. “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.”
Working over the years after The Sopranos ended meant covering up her illness.
“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 says. While MS has no cure, Sigler has “run the gamut” with MS drugs including injections and infusions and now takes the twice-daily pill Tecfidera, which has kept her symptoms stable for the past six years.
“Things are manageable now,” she adds. “It takes a fighting attitude to deal with all this. This disease can absolutely take over your life if you let it.”
And now, she’s ready to tell her truth about MS.
“I’m at a point in my life with my son, with my new marriage, it’s a new me. I don’t want to hold a secret where it feels like I have something to be ashamed of or have something to hide,” she tells PEOPLE. “It’s part of me, but it’s not who I am.”
We support you, Jamie-Lynn! It’s gotta be hard living with MS, much less keeping it a secret. More power to you and your beautiful new family!