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9 Celebrities who have turned their MS diagnosis into advocacy

By Matt Cavallo

Multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological condition affecting more than 2.7 million people worldwide. MS is a disease of the central nervous system, meaning that it targets the brain and the spine. MS can cause a variety of symptoms and affects each person differently.

With MS being a common disorder, many celebrities have been diagnosed with MS. Some celebrities use their platform to raise awareness for MS. Here are some celebrities who are making a difference in the MS community.

1. Jack Osbourne – Jack Osbourne is the son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. Many of us remember Jack from the reality TV series, The Osbournes. Jack is very active sharing his MS experience on podcasts and on social media. Jack also posts on Twitter about his MS experience under the following hashtag: #JackMSChat

2. Selma Blair – Selma Blair is an actress known for her many prominent roles in movies such as Legally Blonde and Cruel Intentions. Today, she is becoming well known for another role, her journey with MS. Introducing, Selma Blair is a documentary series that follows Selma’s journey of adapting to life with MS.

3. Christina Applegate – Many of us remember Christina Applegate from roles such as Kelly Bundy on Married with Children. What you may not know is that Christina is also living with MS. For her 50th birthday, Christina announced to the world that she had been diagnosed with MS just six months before. She penned a heartfelt letter to others living with the disease and then went on to different talk shows to share her experience.

4. Jamie-Lynn Sigler – Jamie is best known for her work on the Sopranos. While she was diagnosed with MS at 20 years old in 2002, she did not reveal her diagnosis until 2016 in People magazine. Since then, she has become an active advocate for the MS community.

5. Art Alexakis – Art Alexakis is the lead singer for the band Everclear. You may remember their smash hit from the ’90s, “Santa Monica.” Art wrote a letter to the fans on the Everclear website announcing his diagnosis. He wrote about how people thought when he forgot lyrics or he stumbled that he had fallen off the wagon, but it was actually MS. He said, “So, if you see me stumbling...sweaty, looking both tired and anxious at the same time, maybe a little more confused than usual, or forgetting lyrics yet looking happy (which is weird for me), please know that I have not fallen off the wagon. I am just learning how to be the new me.”

6. Montel Williams – Montel Williams is an Emmy-nominated daytime talk show host who went on to be a patient advocate, cannabis activist, and motivational speaker sharing his MS experience.

7. Trevor Bayne – Trevor became the youngest driver to ever win the Daytona 500 in 2011. In 2013, he shared with ESPN that he was diagnosed with MS. 

8. Clay Walker – Clay Walker is a country music singer and tireless MS advocate. Ever since his diagnosis, Clay has been hitting all the right notes.

9. Ann Romney – Ann Romney is the wife of current U.S. Senator and former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. Ann shares her story to raise awareness and is very active in her MS advocacy efforts. As a side note, yours truly was featured in a documentary about MS starring Ann Romney back in 2008.