Selma Blair Speaks Publicly for 1st Time About Living With MS
After making a statement on Oscars night with her custom-made cane, the "Legally Blonde" actress said she cried with relief when she finally had a diagnosis for her health problems.
It was more than just a stylish accessory for the "Legally Blonde" actress. Blair has been living with multiple sclerosis and needs the help walking.
Blair's arrival at the famed Oscars party was her first public appearance since revealing her diagnosis in a candid Instagram post in October, writing, "I am disabled. ... I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others."
Blair opened up Tuesday in her first public interview since announcing her health struggles, speaking to Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" in the middle of an MS flare-up that affected her voice.
“I am doing very well,” she said slowly. “I am very happy to see you. Being able to just put out what being in the middle of an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis is like. So my speech, I have spasmodic dysphonia right now. … It is interesting to be here to say this is what my particular case looks like right now.”
When she posted on Instagram in October, Blair said she had been experiencing symptoms of MS for a long time, that she "probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least." She told Roberts that she "cried with relief" when she finally got a diagnosis for her health issues.
“I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic, they were tears of knowing that I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control and there was some relief in that," she said.
MS "is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body," according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The cause is still unknown.
The disease can lead to "overwhelming fatigue, visual disturbances, altered sensation and difficulties with mobility." Blair said she experienced some of these symptoms, telling Roberts, “I dropped my son off at school a mile away and before I got home I’d have to pull over and take a nap." In her October post, she wrote, "I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps."
After battling her disease in private, Blair finally brought her fight into the spotlight at the Vanity Fair Oscars party — and broke down in tears on the carpet. Photos showed Blair standing proudly with her cane and also wiping away tears from her eyes.
"This was a streak of light. To say I am here. I am still in an exacerbation so there was some nervousness. I don’t do anything the way I was once able. I will though," Blair wrote on Instagram.
She also thanked her manager, who offered her a hand and helped her down the carpet.
"Every surprising tear, he was there. As he has always been. And that is the reason I could. Thank you, Troy. We got me just where I wanted to be. For a night. "
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