“I am disabled but I will do my best.” Selma Blair Has Undergone Experimental Treatment to Raise Her Son and Return to Acting
Selma Blair became a Hollywood star at the turn of the millennium, and then she unexpectedly disappeared. It seemed that the actress got carried away by raising children, so she agreed to star only in episodes of TV shows. But in fact, the star had other reasons for working less. Her entire life, Selma had been suffering from unexplainable symptoms. It was only in 2018 that doctors found out she had an incurable illness.
She spent more than 10 years waiting for a diagnosis
You might remember Selma for her roles in iconic movies of the end of the 90s and the beginning of the 2000s. She met her future good friend Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions. In Legally Blonde, Selma played Reese Witherspoon’s rival, and in Hellboy, she portrayed the main character’s girlfriend. Her career was blooming, but certain health issues made her take a break.
Ever since she was young, she has had health issues. She complained about being tired and struggling with speech disorders, but doctors tried to explain it from a psychological standpoint, “They would say, ’OK, what kind of trauma have you had?’ ’We do think this is psychosomatic.’ But without any real neurological tests.”
She found out her diagnosis only in 2018. Neurologists diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis. This news comforted her, because she at least knew what it was. “I had been down that road for so many years without a diagnosis that I did feel kind of hopeless still, but I was hoping that the diagnosis of MS would give me so many more options.”
Diagnosing MS often takes a long time. Patients might have it for more than a decade before they are diagnosed. That’s what happened to Selma. Doctors explained her symptoms with unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and being a single mom.
The star told her subscribers about the diagnosis and quickly attracted the public attention to the illness, “I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS. But we are doing it. And I laugh, and I don’t know exactly what I will do precisely, but I will do my best.”
She decided to undergo experimental treatment
Her progressing illness didn’t let Blair appear in movies and series often. And when she had to undergo chemo and the transplantation of stem cells. Selma and a team of professionals documented the process. In 2021, the film Introducing, Selma Blair was released, showing the star’s more vulnerable side.
All the procedures she had were dangerous. Her immune system was reduced to one percent of its normal function. Blair took the risk and documented it for her son Arthur, who thinks his mom is very brave.
She started to recover and instantly joined Dancing With the Stars
Blair survived. After the treatment, she even took part in Dancing With the Stars. She made the 31st season of the show special. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it to the finals. The illness got in the way. Lots of physical activity had a negative impact on the condition of her bones and her general level of body inflammation. The actress dropped out of the competition, but she still appeared in the closing concert with a dance.
She wrote a best-selling book
Selma already shared her unique story on TV. The next logical step was a biography. In her memoir, Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up, she shared honest stories of her difficult childhood, her traumatizing experiences growing up, love and friendship challenges in Hollywood, and sharing a rehab facility with Britney Spears.
She became one of the BBC Women of 2022
Blair’s journey didn’t go unnoticed, and BBC made her one of their 100 Women of 2022. The organizers said that Selma was very brave in her fight with the illness and honest about it in the media. The actress with a unique fate became the voice of disabled people and attracted attention to the problem of MS.
She returned to her acting career to appear in movies
Selma calls Hollywood her family and thinks that there’s been huge progress in show business in terms of representation of disabled people. Blair wants to make even bigger changes, “There is a bigger responsibility to create iconic images with people that have disabilities. I know that my own MS took my career down. I had to stop working for years, even before I had my son [in 2011], because I wasn’t well.”
2022 was an eventful year for Selma. The long-awaited remission, coming back to her media career, her best-selling book — only one thing is missing: movies.
The actress is hungry for big cinema. “The parts that I’m offered since I’ve had my diagnosis are the old woman, the person in the wheelchair, the person bumping into walls... I might be those things, but I’m still everything else I was before, and I shouldn’t be relegated to that.”
Where did you see Selma Blair for the first time? What role would you like to see her in the future?