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Christina Applegate opens up about her heartbreaking MS diagnoses, ‘I can’t walk without a cane’

The final season of “Dead To Me” is streaming soon

Jovita Trujillo
Jovita Trujillo - Los Angeles
Senior WriterLos Angeles
NOVEMBER 1, 2022 10:06 PM EDT

Christina Applegate is opening up about her heartbreaking Multiple Sclerosis (MS) diagnosis. The talented actress received the diagnoses in the summer of 2021 while on set of the third and final season of “Dead to Me.” Ahead of its November 17 release, the actress talked to the New York Times about how she has been doing and feeling.

26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards   Arrivals© GettyImages

MS is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves). It can lead to a wide range of symptons that range from mild, (blurred vision, numbness, tingling) to severe, (paralysis, vision loss, and mobility problems), per MedicalNewsToday.

Applegate told the outlet she wished she had “paid attention.” For several years the actress had tingles and numbness which grew worse leading to her diagnoses.

After her diagnoses production shut down for around five months. While she was getting treatment physically, Applegate said she also needed the time to process it mentally. “But it was good for me. I needed to process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me. So I needed that time,” she said.

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It’s hard to imagine getting a diagnosis like that, and Applegate says she will never accept it. “Acceptance? No. I’m never going to accept this. I’m pissed,” she said.

With Dead to Me’s release a couple weeks away, she told the outlet she wants people to know “she’s very aware” of any changes they may see on screen. “This is the first time anyone’s going to see me the way I am,” she said. “I put on 40 pounds; I can’t walk without a cane. I want people to know that I am very aware of all of that.”

Applegate said there was talk about whether the show should continue at all. “The powers that be were like, ‘Let’s just stop. We don’t need to finish it. Let’s put a few episodes together.’ I said, ‘No. We’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it on my terms,” she said.

As her limitations began to grew, she struggled to walk down the stairs of her trailer, sometimes she couldn’t come to set, and in some instances, her friend and sound technician Mitch B. Cohn, would be on the floor, out of the camera’s range, holding up her legs, per NYTimes.

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According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), 250,000–350,000 people in the United States are living with MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates the number could be closer to 1 million, per MedicalNewsToday.