Famous Faces of Multiple Sclerosis

TV and film actress Christina Applegate announced on Twitter that she had been diagnosed with MS in 2021.

Christina Applegate

TV and film actress Christina Applegate announced on Twitter that she had been diagnosed with MS in 2021, admitting, "It's been a tough road." In her announcement, Applegate quoted a friend with the disease as saying, "We wake up and take the indicated action." She concluded that she would do just that. The "Married With Children" and "Dead to Me" star previously battled breast cancer and had a double mastectomy in 2008.

Actress Selma Blair announced her MS diagnosis in an Instagram post.

Selma Blair

Actress Selma Blair announced her MS diagnosis in an Instagram post. She wrote, "I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS. But we are doing it. And I laugh and I don't know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best." Her goal: "I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others. And even to myself."

The lead singer of the rock band Everclear opened up about having multiple sclerosis 3 years after his diagnosis.

Alex Alexakis

The lead singer of the rock band Everclear opened up about having multiple sclerosis 3 years after his diagnosis. He's been touring with the band and making new music and says he has plans to write a book. In a post to his fans, he said, "I am just learning how to be the new me."

Talk show host Montel Williams.

Montel Williams

Former talk show host Williams told Oprah Winfrey that pain has been a challenge since his MS diagnosis in 1999. He's learned how to distract himself and "keep it in a box." He currently puts much of his focus on raising awareness about the disease through the Montel Williams MS Foundation.

Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Jamie-Lynn Sigler

In the final episode of The Sopranos, which aired in 2007, fans saw the mobster's daughter, Meadow, run across the street to meet her family for dinner. That, says Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played the character throughout the show's six-season run, was the last time she ever ran. Sigler was diagnosed with MS in 2001 but stayed quiet about it for years because she feared it would affect her career. In early 2016, she came forward with it. She told People magazine, "It's part of me, but it's not who I am." She takes medication twice a day and says her MS is manageable.

Reality TV star Jack Osbourne.

Jack Osbourne

Reality TV star Jack Osbourne learned he has multiple sclerosis in 2012. He told the British magazine Hello that "'adapt and overcome' is my new motto." Just two months later, he took to Twitter to tell the world he'd just hiked more than 17 miles with a 35-pound backpack. He ended his message with the upbeat words: "Good livin'."

Race car driver Trevor Bayne.

Trevor Bayne

Daytona 500 winner Bayne revealed in fall 2013 he'd been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Doctors cleared the 22 year old to continue to compete in NASCAR, though. "I am in the best shape I've ever been in, and I feel good," Bayne said. "There are currently no symptoms and I'm committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible." He became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the Daytona 500 back in 2011.

Anne Romney, wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Ann Romney

Ann Romney, wife of former presidential contender Mitt Romney, has been open about her challenges with multiple sclerosis (MS). This nervous-system disease can cause many symptoms, such as a loss of balance and trouble walking. Romney rides horses as a form of therapy. Research has found that horseback riding can improve walking ability and balance in people with MS.

Fox News TV anchor Neil Covuto.

Neil Cavuto

Cavuto, a Fox News TV anchor, had already survived cancer when he learned he had MS in 1997. He's said that his biggest challenges are fatigue and understanding his body's limitations. He shared stories of other people's triumphs over hardship in his book More than Money: True Stories of People Who Learned Life's Ultimate Lesson.

Singer Clay Walker.

Clay Walker

MS struck country music star Clay Walker in his mid-20s. At first he couldn't hold a guitar pick in his right hand or stand. Treatments helped Walker regain use of his right hand and leg -- and forge ahead with an active career and a new passion for volunteer work. In more than 15 years since his diagnosis, Walker has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.

Actress Teri Garr.

Teri Garr

Actress Teri Garr's star was shooting upward in Hollywood in the early '80s, when she noticed troubling symptoms. She revealed her MS diagnosis to the world in 2002. She urges people newly diagnosed with MS to learn all they can about the illness. The disease affects each person differently. Plus, doctors have many treatments to help hold the disease in check.

Singer Tamia Hill.

Tamia Hill

MS hasn't stopped singer-songwriter Tamia Hill from sharing her gift of music. She's recorded four albums since her diagnosis at age 28. Hill says she has good days and bad days, and finds it helpful to keep a positive attitude. Hill also works to raise public awareness of MS -- and stays busy raising her family with her husband, NBA star Grant Hill.

Singer Victoria Williams

Victoria Williams

Singer-songwriter Victoria Williams' MS diagnosis led to a source of support for others. In 1993, her musical friends, including Lou Reed and Pearl Jam, recorded the album, Sweet Relief, to raise money for her medical bills. She then founded the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund to help others with health problems. Williams regularly performs her quirky country rock and calls music "a healing thing."

Performers Alan and David Osmond.

Alan and David Osmond

Alan Osmond and many of his siblings became famous as members of the singing, dancing Osmond family. His son, David, is now carrying on the family name as a performer, including a turn on TV's American Idol. They share something else, too: Both father and son have multiple sclerosis. They live by Alan's motto: "I may have MS, but MS does not have me."

Musician Noah '40' Shebib.

Noah '40' Shebib

Shebib is making a name for himself as a producer and collaborator with rapper Drake, a fellow Canadian. A leg that felt "on fire" was one early symptom, leading to a MS diagnosis in his early 20s. Shebib uses his fame to encourage others with MS. He says the disease won't stop him: "I've got this disease. I'm going to live with it. I'm going to win with it."

Though he kept his multiple sclerosis diagnosis quiet for 15 years, he now speaks freely about his experience with the disease at public appearances.

David Lander

David Lander's face -- and distinctive voice -- is familiar to legions of fans who knew him as Squiggy on Laverne and Shirley. Though he kept his multiple sclerosis diagnosis quiet for 15 years, he spent his latter years speaking freely about his experience with the disease before his death in 2020.

Musician Hal Ketchum.

Hal Ketchum

Country singer Hal Ketchum says that talking to people about his MS helps him feel better about the disease. He's also rearranged his priorities in life to focus on what's really important to him. People can find a supportive group or online chat room -- or even a mentor who is living with MS -- by calling the National MS Society at 800-344-4867.

Sources:

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REFERENCES:

  • Twitter: @christina appelgate, Aug. 10, 2021
  • USA Today: “Christina Applegate reveals multiple sclerosis diagnosis: 'It's been a tough road' ”
  • People: "Everclear's Art Alexakis Reveals Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis: 'I Am Learning How to Be the New Me.'"
  • Everclearmusic.com.
  • Instagram: @selmablair, Oct. 20, 2018.
  • NASCAR.com
  • Hello magazine.
  • Twitter.
  • New York Times.
  • ABC News.
  • National MS Society.
  • Munoz-Lasa, S. Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia, Oct.-Dec 2011.
  • People magazine.
  • Tamiaworld.com.
  • NIH MedlinePlus.
  • Foxbusiness.com.
  • Oprah.com.
  • MontelMS.org.
  • ClayWalker.com.
  • YouTube.com.
  • Osmond.com.
  • Neurology Now.
  • Sweetrelief.org.
  • CNN.com.
  • DavidLLander.com.
  • CountryWeekly.com.
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