Jamie-Lynn Sigler finds positives in MS battle


Jamie-Lynn Sigler has embraced the "positive" side of having multiple sclerosis (MS).

The 38-year-old actress was diagnosed with the condition - which affects the central nervous system, disrupting the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body - 18 years ago and as time has passed, she's learned to appreciate that her medical issues have made her the person she is today.

Speaking on 'People Now', she said: "I have my bad days, as we all do.

"For me it was about fighting it and keeping it a secret and covering it up, then when I became public it was accepting people knew and now it's shifted into this thing where...

"I think people don't realise with chronic illness, it's so much physical stuff but emotionally it can affect you even more.

"I'm realising all the things it has brought me, the positive things it had brought to me, who it has made me today I know I wouldn't be without it.

"Do I still wish I didn't have MS? Sure. But it's my thing in this lifetime and I'm dealing with it as best I can."

And the 'Sopranos' actress - who has sons Beau, six, and Jack, two, with her husband Cutter Dykstra - doesn't feel like having MS holds her back from doing anything.

She added: "I'm still independent, I still went on a trip with my son, I can still work and I have the energy to do these things.

"Does it slow me down physically in some ways? Sure. But I figured out in the 18 years of living with it how best to function and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything in life because of it."

Selma Blair is another high-profile sufferer of the condition and Jamie-Lynn praised her friend for how "positive" she is, even when she's struggling with a particularly bad flare-up.

She said: "Selma, I can't speak for her, but what I can say is she's another face of MS, it affects us all differently, and I think she's been brave from the get-go of sharing the highs and lows of it and I commend her.

"I think she's giving a voice to a lot of people and she's fighting it every day as we all do, the best we can.

"She's a wonderful mother - our kids go to school together - she's a pretty magical person.

"I remember the first time I saw her after she'd been diagnosed, she still had that bright smile despite being in the midst of a big flare up. I was so impressed with her energy and verve and positivity."