Sopranos Star Speaks Out About Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

After keeping her multiple sclerosis diagnosis a secret for more than a decade, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, teamed up with Biogen’s MS campaign.

After living with multiple sclerosis (MS) for nearly 15 years, actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, star of HBO’s hit show The Sopranos, is starting to speak out about her journey to help raise awareness and inspire other patients with MS to seek support, reported Fox News.

The underlying cause of MS remains unknown, but scientists do know that it is marked by undisrupted communication between the brain and other parts of the body. Sigler was diagnosed with MS after being admitted to the emergency room for “odd sensations in her legs” that began to spread, according to the report.

Sigler underwent an MRI and spinal tap before being officially diagnosed with the most common form of the autoimmune disease, relapsing MS.

“When you’re 20-years-old, you have your life ahead of you,” Sigler told Fox. “I already had a big career. It was difficult to accept.”

Shortly after diagnosis, Sigler’s symptoms subsided, resulting in her not being adherent to treatment, reported the Latin Times. It wasn’t until she was around 24-years-old and was undergoing the stress of a divorce from ex-husband A.J. DiScala that Sigler’s symptoms began to resurface, causing her to reach out and build a support group around her, according to the report.

Having dealt with MS for nearly 15 years, Sigler recently decided to speak out about her diagnosis.

“Coming out of this disease was really empowering, and allowed me a new platform and a great sense of responsibility I feel now to the MS community,” Sigler told Fox News.

Now, Sigler has partnered with Biogen for its Reimagine Myself campaign to educate individuals on treatments that help manage the disease, and to encourage patients to not let their diagnosis define them.

“I think a lot of the time when people are dealing with any chronic illness you can feel very isolated, you can feel alone, you feel like people don’t understand,” Sigler told Fox. “I wanted to be somebody that says, ‘I get it, I feel you, I hear you, I go through what you go through, and I understand.’”