Using an elegant, custom-made cane to support her movement, actor Selma Blair walked her first red carpet Feb. 24 since her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, PEOPLE reports. Blair arrived at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in Beverly Hills wearing a black, pink, and mint gown with a dramatic cape that flowed behind her, according to PEOPLE.
“I wanted a special cane for #vanityfair dinner,” Blair wrote on Instagram. “So @lyon_hearted went out and found patent leather and @bic_owen and [sic] he stitched it on. Hours of love put in. And then #tombachick made it especially magical. I burst into tears. These gifts to get me through. #subtle #chic #love.”
Blair shared her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis in October 2018, and the actor has been open about her journey with the illness on social media, ELLE reports. “I have #multiplesclerosis,” Blair said in an Instagram post. “I am in an exacerbation. By the grace of the lord, and willpower and the understanding producers at Netflix, I have a job. A wonderful job. 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.”
Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It causes the body’s immune system to attack the central nervous system, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person depending on how much nerve damage they’ve experienced, according to Mayo Clinic, and the illness can affect vision, mobility, speech, bowel and bladder function, and more. Some people experience severe symptoms, says Mayo Clinic, while other people experience long periods of remission with no MS symptoms at all. Mayo Clinic say there’s no cure for MS, but sometimes treatment can speed a person’s recovery from MS attacks and help a person manage their symptoms.
Not only is it amazing to see Blair thriving, but it’s such a huge win for the disabled community to see someone like Selma Blair unapologetically walk a red carpet with a cane. And the reactions from people on social media show just how much the world needs this kind of representation.
Twitter user @Jennifer_McShane said, "#SelmaBlair in tears as she attends the @VanityFair #Oscars party made me cry. I’ve often been walking with an aid, and the exhaustion can just hit and you think, 'how am I going to do this?' But you keep going. She is amazing."
"Don’t think I’ve ever watched the Oscars, but I will watch this again," said Twitter user @Rob87007317. "After 12 years working with and helping people with MS, I see this courage every day, but the frequency doesn’t lessen the awesomeness each time I do. #SelmaBlair you just rock."
Blair was in tears as she walked the red carpet. According to PEOPLE, Blair wrote in a social media post after her diagnosis, “Going out, being sociable holds a heavy price. My brain is on fire. I am freezing. We feel alone with it even though the loving support has been a godsend and appreciated.”
Blair said in an Instagram post following the event that she will look back to an amazing portrait from that red carpet walk when "life flashes before my eyes." Blair has given the world a glimpse of what it's like to live with a disability, and the world was here for it. The more people normalize the disability experience, the more the world will see it's just another life experience.