Jamie-Lynn Sigler: ‘Multiple Sclerosis Is Part Of Me, But It’s Not Who I Am’

Jamie-Lynn Sigler multiple sclerosis MS James Gandolfini

Jamie-Lynn Sigler, the actress best known for playing the role of Tony Soprano’s daughter in the Emmy award-winning TV drama The Sopranos, has revealed a personal secret that she has been hiding from the public. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Jamie-Lynn Sigler has gone public with her nearly 15-year-long struggle with multiple sclerosis.

Jamie-Lynn, who is 34-years-old, revealed that she had been diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder at the age of 20. Even while she was still on The Sopranos, she would feel tingling and heaviness in her legs, and she says that she kept the illness a secret on the set by taking regular five- to ten-minute breaks to sit down and rest.

The actress was concerned that the production crew would catch on to her illness and that it may affect her future career prospects, and although she says she was symptom-free for several years, the sickness caught up to her during the last decade. The symptoms especially affected Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s ability to walk, causing her great frustration as she was forced to think about every step she took.

But Jamie-Lynn Sigler needn’t have worried, as she received huge amounts of support when she confided in her TV father, James Gandolfini. The Sopranos actor was very protective of his TV daughter, especially after he found out about her condition.

Fortunately, Jamie-Lynn Sigler says that she is now in a better place with her illness as she has settled into a twice daily dosage of Tecfidera, which works to stabilize her symptoms. She also has a very happy home life with her husband, baseball star Cutter Dykstra, and their son, Beau, who was born in 2013. She sees her illness as manageable now, with a fighting spirit deep within her keeping the disease at bay with her own strong will.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler spoke on why she decided to go public with her disease.

“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. It [multiple sclerosis] is part of me, but it’s not who I am.”

Parenting has come so naturally to the actress that she says she is starting to see similarities between herself and her own mother. According to People magazine, Jamie-Lynn and her mother, Connie, both agree on their similarities.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler catches herself acting like her mom sometimes, and even her husband and her friends call her out on the similarities. The bond between Jamie-Lynn and her mom is a very special one, and the Sopranos actress says that she can always count on her mom for unwavering support, even in her toughest moments in life.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler spoke on how she and her mother share a bond and an unspoken connection, saying that sometimes she feels that she is too independent, and doesn’t share what she is going through with her mom, but her mom always knows when something is wrong.

“My mom and I have this crazy connection where if I’m not reaching out, she’ll pick up the phone and say, ‘I feel like you need me, what’s going on?’ She is a good reminder that it’s noble to ask for help.”

In other news, Jamie-Lynn Sigler has also been celebrating her recent role in CSI: Cyber, which she earned just shortly after revealing her 15-year battle with multiple sclerosis. According to the Daily Mail, Jamie-Lynn appeared on the show as Sasha Boyd, a director of content monitoring for a respected social media company.

Her character handled the responsibility of recruiting those monitoring for illegal content on the social media platform and was noted to be smart and well dressed, according to the site. Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s episode aired earlier this year and was entitled “5 Deadly Sins.”

[Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Amazon]