Jamie-Lynn Sigler And Other Celebrities Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis Give Voice To MS Community
Multiple sclerosis can affect anyone
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that can affect the brain and spinal cord. It has a variety of symptoms, the most common ones are fatigue, numbness, and problems with vision and balance. Multiple sclerosis often leads to disability. Patients usually get the diagnosis when they are in their 20s or 30s although MS can develop later in life. There’s currently no cure for multiple sclerosis.
Among millions of people living with multiple sclerosis, there are some celebrities who are outspoken about their condition. Here are five brave famous people battling with MS.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, best known for playing Meadow Soprano in the hit TV show The Sopranos, was diagnosed with MS when she was 20. She revealed her diagnosis in early 2016 in an interview with People magazine.
Jamie didn’t have symptoms for some time, but the disease got worse over the past decade. The actress told People:
I can’t walk for a long period of time without resting. I cannot run. No superhero roles for me.
Jamie’s husband and their young son give her strength and courage to fight MS. She had tried various medicines and found one that helps keep her symptoms manageable.
Ann Romney, the wife of 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, received the diagnosis in 1998. Her initial symptoms were severe numbness and tiredness. She has been quite outspoken about her condition since she learned about her MS. Romney took up horseback riding, and she believes it has a therapeutic effect on her condition. According to some research, horseback riding does improve walking ability and balance in MS patients to some extent.
Romney told ABC’s Robin Roberts:
I love horses, they have been my companion through my dark hours when I was recovering and gave me strength and joy and hope.
Country singer Clay Walker was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis when he was 26. Doctors’ initial prognosis was grim. Walker told the Biloxi Sun Herald:
I was told that I would be in a wheelchair in four years and dead in eight years.
But Walker manages to keep his MS under control with medicines, healthy eating, and exercise. In 2003, he started Band Against MS, a non-profit dedicated to spreading information about MS and raising funds to find a cure.
Tamia Hill, the R&B singer and wife of NBA star Grant Hill, was diagnosed with MS in 2003, but that didn’t stop her from recording another 4 albums. Medications, balanced diet, and exercise help Tamia keep MS symptoms at bay.
Pregnancy seems to improve MS symptoms is some women. That was the case for Tamia when she was pregnant with her daughter. She told The Young, Black and Fabulous:
When a woman is pregnant, all her symptoms of MS subside. But you have to be careful because after you give birth, there’s a higher rate of attacks.
Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto learned he had MS in 1997. Prior to his MS diagnosis, he had beat Hodgkin’s lymphoma and first thought that cancer had returned. He told People:
I was stumbling and falling. I would wake up prickly. My legs felt like stilts.
What keeps Cavuto going is his stoic attitude. His friend Mark Neschis said:
He would never let on that anything is bothering him.
When Cavuto is on vacation, he and his family go somewhere cold, because heat seems to make his symptoms worse.
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