Christina Applegate Attends First Award Show Since MS Diagnosis

The 2023 Critics’ Choice Awards was made all the more memorable thanks to an appearance from Christina Applegate, marking the first award show the actor had attended since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Having starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest films and gifting audiences characters that have become iconic in the canon of pop culture, Christina Applegate is no stranger to a red carpet. The actor has attended many a star-studded award show, but at the 2023 Critics’ Choice Awards, Applegate’s appearance made the event all the more memorable as it marked her first award show attendance since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). 

Applegate first revealed her diagnosis in August of 2021. In a Tweet, she expressed: “A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some asshole blocks it.”

The autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system beings to attack the sheath that protects nerve fibres, making it difficult for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. Consequently, those suffering from MS often have difficulty walking and moving, with the disease even leading to paralysis in the legs in some instances. While the cause of MS is currently unknown, cases range from mild to severe and for many sufferers, the condition is an invisible one. 

In an interview with the New York Times, Applegate spoke openly about the early physical symptoms she noticed several years ago while filming Dead to Me, that later led to her diagnosis. She experienced feeling unbalanced while filming a dance sequences for the show, and later playing tennis. Applegate simply brushed it off, believing she had to work harder. “I wish I had paid attention,” she said. “But who was I to know?”

Since being diagnosed, Applegate has refused to let her MS diagnosis define her. Rather, she’s educating others about the condition while still doing what she loves. Attending the Critics’ Choice Awards alongside her daughter, Sadie Grace LeNoble, the actor held a glitzy silver and black cane after being nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Jen Harding in Dead to Me

Posting about the significance of the event to Twitter, Applegate wrote: “So this Sunday will be the first awards show I have been to since 2019. And the first since MS. NERVOUS! But grateful to the @CriticsChoice for including me.”

For many suffering from MS, the disease can feel like an invisible one due to lack of public understanding. But as celebrities like Applegate and Selma Blair open up about their own experiences, understanding of the condition is increasing. Blair has given fans insight into her own diagnosis and treatment in a documentary that also serves to educate others on the symptoms and daily life struggles for those living with the disease. As more celebrities come forward and open up about their own experiences, it’s hoped that others will share their own story. As Applegate continues to live her life boldly and with her trademark wit and humour, she proves MS doesn’t define you. 

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