Jamie-Lynn Sigler: Multiple Sclerosis Doesn’t Stop Me from Being a Hands-on Mom

01/25/2016 at 05:30 PM ET

As a mom to a toddler, Jamie-Lynn Sigler already knows that motherhood can be challenging.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at age 20, Sigler says her symptoms, which include a weaker right side and difficulty walking for long periods of time, don’t hinder her from taking care of her 2-year-old son, Beau Kyle.

“He doesn’t know any different,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I’m still on the floor with him playing. It may take me a few more seconds to get up than other moms, but he doesn’t look at me any differently, and that makes a huge difference for me too.”

Jamie-Lynn Sigler son Beau MS
Andrew Southam

Thinking “wheelchair” when she first heard MS, Sigler was more than grateful to learn that she could lead a full life — including possibly having a child.

“I was so relieved when I was pregnant because I was so afraid I was going to have trouble because of all the years of [treatment],” says the actress, who went off her medication before and during her pregnancy.

She adds, “You never know how things are going to affect you.”

In fact, Sigler went into full remission during her pregnancy. “I can’t walk my hill with my dog today but when I was nine months pregnant, easy breezy,” she says. “It’s just something beautiful. Everything goes quiet.”

Jamie-Lynn Sigler son Beau MS
Steve Steinhardt

As for expanding her family with her husband, pro baseball player Cutter Dykstra, 26, Sigler says she hopes to have that chance — but she understands if it’s not in the cards.

“I would love to have another child. I would love to be working and feel inspired and strong, but if life takes another path, I’ll be okay,” she tells PEOPLE.

“I’ve got my brain and my heart, and I’ve prepared myself for everything that could happen. But I’ve got an amazing husband, the best son, and I hope that we can make more babies and just keep having fun. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.”

Jamie-Lynn Sigler son Beau MS
Andrew Southam

For now, being a wife to Dykstra and raising their son together keeps Sigler going on a daily basis.

“I’m alone with my son a lot and I can do it. It’s hard, maybe harder, but I think it’s hard for anyone,” she says. “And it’s not always pretty and it’s not always graceful, but I’m doing it.”

For more on living with MS and to contribute to the fight against the disease, visit The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler son Beau MS
Andrew Southam

For more of Sigler’s revealing interview, including exclusive photographs from her wedding album, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands now.

— Julie Jordan

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Tara on

I think it’s great she is trying to normalize MS but this daily barrage is a bit much. As someone who has lived with this disease for the past 10 years and having a 6 year old son I can attest that it’s not as dramatic as People and Jamie Lynn are making it out to be. With the correct treatment it is quite manageable and aside from flare ups you can live a rather normal existence. I feel much more empathy for those who endure much more life altering diseases and struggles.

Anonymous on

It is NOT manageable for everyone. Each person has different symptoms and not everybody has relapsing remitting. For some the progression is quicker and more severe. But I agree we don’t need to read about her each day all of a sudden. Yes some people have it worse with other diseases, no doubt. Nonetheless, it is a life changing diagnosis.

Tara on

Sorry I take monthly injections of IV steroids and daily immunosuppressants. This constant coverage is pathetic and martyr status seeking. It is manageable and nothing like Lupus, cancer or even diabetes.

lauras on

To Tara: Obviously you are not educated in the field of MS. You are not in a wheel chair, you have not lost sight in your eyes, you can still bathe yourself. Get over yourself. MS is a real life altering disease.

Jane on

My dad died from MS at 40!!! So be thankful!! Everyone is different!! You cant EVER say one disease is easier than another! YOU have no idea!!! Yes the coverage of her and her disease is a little much! But dont compare diseases they’re all hard and affect people differently!

Tara on

@Jane…gee I am sorry I thought a comment section was for personal opinions. I stand by mine…you can have yours. my dad died at the age of 36 from Leukemia. My mother 2 years later from Breast Cancer. I have a brother who died at the age of 27 from a neurological disorder. I have dealt with MS since I was 19. It has progressed to the point that I need IV treatments monthly. So I do have a right to say that it is much more manageable than MANY diseases out there and I feel the fact that Jamie Lynn and People are using this non story to promote her wedding is pathetic and they should be ashamed.

LeeToo on

@Tara
that’s YOUR story, and you are very lucky! other suffer cruelly from MS. it manifests differently in each patient.

good luck to you! may your ms remain a non-event in your life.

Kaylah on

She’s not being interviewed daily. She probably did one interview after her wedding, allowed some pictures to be taken and gave some of her wedding photos, done deal. It is the magazine that uses a little piece every day for a new article, just as they are doing to Celine Dion and Joey Feek right now. If you don’t like it, take it up with the magazine or just don’t freaking read the one that comes out tomorrow.

Jane on

@LeeToo totally agree you took the words right out of my mouth!

Anonymous on

@Tara I’m not trying to argue with you about which disease is the worst or personal life stories who has the saddest life because that would be pointless! Im sorry you’ve lost your mom, dad and brother that must be tough! Im just trying to say MS effects everyone differently its not always manageable…luckily for you in your case it is which is great and i hope it stays that way for you! Good luck.

Jane on

@Tara I’m not trying to argue with you about which disease is the worst or personal life stories who has the saddest life because that would be pointless! Im sorry you’ve lost your mom, dad and brother that is tough. Im just trying to say MS effects everyone differently its not always manageable…luckily for you in your case it is which is great and i hope it stays that way for you! Good luck.

TM Kelly on

I have remitting relapsing MS and my aunt has secondary progressive. One of the first things my neuro said to me is “MS is different in every case.”
There are three types – primary progressive (starts and keeps getting worse – Annette Funicello. Remitting Relapsing – flares come and go generally leaving a little more residual each time (Jamie Lynn), Secondary progress is when rr becomes progressive (Teri Garr I believe).
Even with categories, everyone is different. Extreme temps are bad for many people with MS. While I can’t function if I am hot, I love being cold.
Her remission during pregnancy is quite common. On bad days, my ex volunteered to knock me up to make me feel better. He had his faults, but he always made me laugh.

In the early 2000s, the West Wing featured a story line about the President (played by Martin Sheen) covering up that he had remitting./relapsing MS. I was very angry at the way the disease was depicted (for example the First Lady telling a doctor surgery could kill him right after he was shot. The character had more of a secondary progressive condition, not R/R but no one cleared that up. A friend who knew about my MS freaked out. I had to assure her I wasn’t planning on becoming paralyzed on a plane.

My point it that when something is in the public eye, there is a responsibility to learn all the facts. This is a change for that type of talk.

Dede on

I am so glad they have come so far in treating MS and wish all the best for this family. When I grew up in Colorado, my dads niece had MS and adopted two daughters. By the time the second was adopted, she was unable to hold her and much responsibility fell on the eldest daughter. I write this because I think things have changed dramatically for the better and we are so much farther along. Dede

Barb on

My father died from MS in his late 60s. Eventually, he couldn’t do anything by himself, his thinking was affected, his motor skills were gone.

Kell on

Thank you Jamie-Lynn for telling your story.

Etsy on

The media is raising awareness about MS. She has no control over how much they share her story! Should we be happy that people are learning more about the disease, rather than calling the coverage pathetic? It takes courage to admit to the ‘world’ that you are suffering.

Tara on

@etsy… Courage? She is a coward. She is only speaking out now to get back in the spotlight. If she truly wanted to be a crusader go speak about it when people actually knew who the heck she was. She is an opportunist using this disease to elevate her from something other than Hallmark movies.

And to those saying so and so died from it… Why should that matter? The average age for someone to live with MS is 70! Stop with your pity parties and simply deal with the hand you were given. We have become such a weak and entitled country. Where we think everyone has a story worth telling.