It’s hard to imagine how you’d react if you were diagnosed with a life-altering disease. But few would probably have the spirit and strength Selma Blair does. The 46-year-old actress was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) – a condition affecting the central nervous system – in October 2018. As she gave an interview – her first since diagnosis – with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, you could start to hear the affect the condition has had on her voice.
“I’m very well,” Blair said bright-eyed. “I am very happy to be able to put out what being in the middle of an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis us like. So my voice is – you’ll notice – I have spasmodic dysphonia right now. It’s interesting to put it out there, to be here to say, ‘This is what my particular case looks like right now’.”
The Sweetest Thing actress continues to work – she’s got a new show on Netflix called Another Life – and was at the Vanity Fair Oscars after party on Sunday Night with a cane to help her with her balance. The disease causes Blair to become extremely tired a lot of the time and it was an incredible feat she was able to make the event. She became emotional on the carpet – and photographers stopped flashing while she fixed her makeup and instead applauded and cheered on her bravery.
This is the most powerful thing I've seen in a long time. We are stronger than #MS! She said it took so much for her to be there, so I hope she knows how big of a moment this is for us in the MS and #chronicillness communities. #SelmaBlair pic.twitter.com/Rt6jhvl0WP
— Fªunª (@msfaunaa) February 25, 2019
A single mother of seven-year-old Arthur, Blair says she noticed she was dropping things, falling over and becoming extremely tired. Even after dropping Arthur off to school, she would have to pull over and take a nap. But doctors couldn’t pin-point what was wrong with her. When the diagnosis came, she said she “cried some relief” knowing she could do something about her being but also cried because she “had to give in to a body that had loss of control.”
It was at this point she reached out to Michael J. Fox who helped her and gave her hope. Doctors have said in a year’s time, she might have 90 percent of her abilities back. “Let’s meet again in a year and see if I’m better,” Blair told Roberts. “If I’m not, and I can still have a conversation, that’s good enough.”
As the interview was wrapping up, the actress said her neurologist advised she not do the interview. “My neurologist said, ‘No, this will bring a lot of awareness, because nobody has the energy to talk when they’re in a flare-up. But I do, because I love a camera!”
Roberts was moved to tears. Watch the interview below where Blair talks about how she broke the news to her son and watch in awe at her tenacity and unbreakable spirit.
Whatever is going in our own lives, we all could take some inspiration from the strength of Selma Blair.