Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who married her longtime boyfriend Cutter Dykstra over the weekend, has revealed that she’s been battling multiple sclerosis (MS) for the last 15 years.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s MS

Sigler has kept her MS a secret until recently, when she decided that it was time to be open about her illness. “I wasn’t ready until now,” Sigler, 34, told People. “You’d think that after all these years, somebody would be settled with something like this, but it’s still hard to accept.”

For the first five years after she was diagnosed with MS, Sigler didn’t notice any major symptoms. But, over the last 10 years, she’s encountered numerous difficulties.

“I can’t walk for a long period of time without resting. I cannot run. No superhero roles for me,” she said. “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.”

Sigler, who is best known for playing Meadow Soprano on The Sopranos, feared going public with her MS battle, thinking that it would compromise her acting career. When she would feel the onset of extreme exhaustion on set, she’d avoid asking for a much needed rest.
“I wouldn’t ask, because I didn’t want them to be suspicious,” she explained.

Sigler, who takes Tecfidera twice a day, finds her symptoms “manageable,” but she believes that dealing with the neurological disorder “takes a fighting attitude.”

Part of the reason why Sigler has chosen to share her struggle with MS now is because she’s feeling grounded in her life with Dykstra and their 2-year-old son Beau.

“I’m at a point in my life with my son, with my new marriage, it’s a new me,” said Sigler. “I don’t want to hold a secret where it feels like I have something to be ashamed of or have something to hide. It’s part of me, but it’s not who I am.”

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