6. Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Today, Sigler wants to be an MS advocate. “I think a lot of the time when people are dealing with any chronic illness you can feel very isolated, you can feel alone, you feel like people don’t understand,” she said in an interview. “I wanted to be somebody that says, ‘I get it, I feel you, I hear you, I go through what you go through, and I understand.’”
She shares personal experiences on Twitter, using the hashtag #ReimagineMySelf.
She’s also partnered with Biogen on the Reimagine Myself campaign, which seeks to show how people living with MS lead fulfilling and productive lives.
7. Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor gets credit for being a source of inspiration for many of today’s most successful comedians. In the last three decades, he has widely been recognized as one of the greatest comedic voices of all time.
He died of a heart attack in 2005 at the age of 65.
8. Frasier C. Robinson III
Former first lady of the United States and health and fitness advocate Michelle Obama’s father lived with multiple sclerosis. During her 2014 Reach Higher campaign, Mrs. Obama toured high schools throughout the United States and spoke candidly about witnessing her father struggle with MS. “Seeing my father in pain, seeing him struggle, watching that every day, it broke my heart,” she said. Mrs. Obama credits her father as her inspiration to achieve the success she enjoys today.
9. Gordon Schumer
Gordon Schumer is the father of comedian, actress, and writer Amy Schumer. He received a diagnosis of MS in middle age. Colin Quinn portrayed him in Amy Schumer’s 2015 debut film “Trainwreck.” Schumer speaks and writes frequently about her father’s battle with the disease, so much so the MS community now recognizes her as an important activist. She cites her father’s good sense of humor and biting sarcasm in the face of his condition as inspiration for her own comedy. “I love to laugh. I seek laughter all the time. I think that’s something that also comes with having a sick parent,” she said in an interview.
10. President Bartlett from ‘The West Wing’
Hollywood and the media have long struggled to accurately portray people with disabilities. But the long-running political drama, “The West Wing,” seems to have gotten it right.
The main character, President Josiah Bartlett, has MS. The show chronicles his tribulations with the condition as he juggles his very successful political career. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society gave the program an award for its depiction of the illness.
11. Jason DaSilva
Jason DaSilva is an American documentarian and creator of “When I Walk,” a documentary that follows his life after his diagnosis at age 25. DaSilva has primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Unlike other forms of MS, primary progressive MS has no remissions. He started filming his life to capture all of his triumphs and struggles, embarking on a new life as a filmmaker. As a wheelchair user, he uses his platform as a documentarian to address the stigmas of disability. His work helps him cope with the challenges of MS. “It is all about freedom,” he told New Mobility. “As long as I can keep doing things creatively, or making things, I’m OK.”