Jamie-Lynn Sigler explains how she remains independent while battling MS

Former “Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler opened up about how she’s still able to thrive with multiple sclerosis.

The 38-year-old actress was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 20 and has been coping with it ever since. Speaking in a recent “PEOPLE Now” interview, she discussed what it’s been like to live with the disease publicly all these years.

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“I have my bad days as we all do,” she explained. “I think what has happened is that for me it was so much about fighting it and keeping it a secret and covering it up. And then, when I became public about it, then it was accepting that people knew. And now it’s sort of shifted into this thing where, I think people don’t realize, they think with chronic illness it’s so much the physical stuff and the way it affects you physically, but emotionally it can really affect you even more.”

She continued noting that, although she wishes she didn’t have to live with her diagnosis, she’s grateful for the trajectory it’s taken her life on.

“It’s almost become this thing where I’m like, realizing all of the things that it’s brought to me, the positive things it’s brought to me and who it has made me today,” she explained. “Do I still wish I didn’t have MS? Sure. But it’s like my thing in this lifetime, maybe. And I am dealing with it the best I can. I’m still independent. I just went on a trip alone to Punta Cana with my son. I’m still able to work. I have the energy to do all these things.

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She added: “Does it slow me down physically in certain ways? Sure. But I’ve figured out in the 18 years living with it how best to function and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything in life because of it.”

She also commented on friend and fellow celebrity publicly living with MS, Selma Blair.

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“I can’t speak for her, but what I can say to her is that she is another face of MS,” Sigler said. “It affects us all differently. No one is the same, and I think that she’s been brave from the get-go about sharing the highs and lows of it, and I commend her. I think she’s giving a voice to a lot of people and she’s fighting it every day, as we all do, the best she can.”

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