Jamie-Lynn Sigler: I've Had MS Since the Sopranos

Actress reveals 14-year struggle to 'People'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2016 9:43 AM CST
Jamie-Lynn Sigler: I've Had MS Since the Sopranos
Jamie Lynn Sigler, left, and Cutter Dykstra arrive at the 23rd Annual Environmental Media Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 in Burbank, Calif.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Jamie-Lynn Sigler has been battling multiple sclerosis since her days on The Sopranos, the actress reveals to People. Sigler, now 34, was diagnosed at 20 years old, but she says she "wasn't ready until now" to speak publicly about the illness. She just married pro baseball player Cutter Dykstra, with whom she has a 2-year-old son, and she says that's a big part of her reason for coming forward: "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 was symptom-free for a while, but over the past 10 years, that has changed. The disease damages the central nervous system, and Sigler says she often needs to rest—which made it difficult to hide the illness while working over the years. Her symptoms have been stable for the past six years thanks to the drug regimen she's on, and she says "things are manageable" at this point. "It takes a fighting attitude to deal with all this," she says, adding that as her son grows, "I wanted to be an example to him of strength and courage." Click for the full interview. (More multiple sclerosis stories.)

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