Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has penned a candid essay about parenting with the incurable disease.
“When I learned I was pregnant with my first son, Beau, six years ago, I was terrified,” Sigler wrote on Shondaland.com. “All of a sudden, I had to think about how my MS would affect someone else. (I say this, because my husband has made me feel since day one that this disease had no negative effect on us as a couple.) But with my son, his safety depended on me!”
Sigler and her husband Cutter Dykstra are parents to Beau, 5, and Jack, 14 months.
The 37-year-old actress, who has a slight limp and can’t move as quickly as she used to, worried she wouldn’t be able to adequately take care of and protect her child.
“I even, sadly, had to have the talk with my husband about what we’d do in the worst of circumstances, where I thought out loud: If there ever was a mass shooting, you have to take the kids and run, and trust I will do my best to stay safe,” she wrote. “Just thinking about this still makes me tear up.”
Despite the challenges Sigler faces, the “Sopranos” star is dedicated to powering through.
“MS — any chronic illness, really — becomes your whole family’s disease, not just your own. It affects our daily choices, and while sometimes I resent that, it has also made me see how strong I am,” she said. “I am there for [my kids] each and every day.”
She continued, “I walk Jack every day in his stroller, around the block, no matter how long it takes me. I take Beau to hockey and karate and baseball, and sit on my chair and cheer him on. I am definitely participating in life the way I always dreamed, but it’s not without challenges.”
Despite dealing with pain, Sigler is confident she is being the mom she always wanted to be.
“My two little boys give me all the love and reassurance I’ll ever need,” she said. “They have shown me that I don’t need anything, good or bad, working or not, disease or no disease, to be deserving of love.”
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