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Jack Osbourne, Ann Romney & More Stars With Multiple Sclerosis (PHOTOS)

Jack Osbourne just revealed he has multiple sclerosis. See more celebrities who are fighting the disease.

AP Photo (top left); Getty Images (2)

AP Photo (top left); Getty Images (2)

Jack Osbourne, Ann Romney & More Stars With Multiple Sclerosis (PHOTOS)

Rock scion and reality-TV star Jack Osbourne just revealed he has multiple sclerosis. From Ann Romney to Montel Williams and Joan Didion, see more celebrities who are fighting the disease.

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Jack Osbourne

Two weeks after he became a father for the first time, 26-year-old reality star Jack Osbourne learned he had multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the central nervous system and can cause difficulty with muscle control, vision, and excessive fatigue. “I was just angry and frustrated and kept thinking, ‘Why now?’” Osbourne told People about his diagnosis. “I’ve got a family and that’s what’s supposed to be the most important thing.” Shortly after the news broke, Kelly Osbourne tweeted: “please support my brother @mrjacko in not only his bravery but honesty! i love you so much jack & I’m so proud of you!” And Jack himself expressed gratitude to his fans. “Thank you all so much for the kind and inspirational words,” he tweeted on Sunday. “It means a lot. #adaptandovercome.”

Jae C. Hong / AP Photo

Ann Romney

“It was hard for Mitt,” Ann Romney told Fox News about her 1998 multiple sclerosis diagnosis. “I think it’s always harder sometimes for the person watching than the person going through it. But it was hard for me too. I will tell you because we have an identity. My identity was mother, accomplished, doing many things, taking care of everybody, and all of a sudden I couldn’t even take care of myself.” The effects of the disease may limit her role in her husband’s presidential campaign, but if she becomes first lady, she expects to be vocal about MS and breast cancer, which she was also diagnosed with in 2008. “Every first lady brings her own personality to the White House,” she said. “It’s going to have something to do with things I care about, the things I love. Having had breast cancer I’m sure I’ll be involved in breast cancer awareness. Having had multiple sclerosis I’m sure … I’ll be trying to promote research.”

Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images

Neil Cavuto

After surviving an advanced case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the 1980s, Fox News host Neil Cavuto was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997. Ten years later, Cavuto told TV Newser, “Having had cancer right before my MS diagnosis, I can honestly say MS is worse. There’s no endgame here, no cure here, no concoction of chemotherapy or radiation that could make it all go away here.” Still, he has maintained a busy work schedule and has also been an advocate for MS awareness and research. “One thing I’ve discovered with this illness, as with cancer before, is that we all carry some baggage in life—some more than others,” Cavuto said in an interview this spring. “But that doesn’t mean MS patients’ pain is any less real. They just must recognize, as I’ve told them myself, that they aren’t the only ones suffering … I always try to pull patients back with this proviso, ‘Take it from a self-absorbed TV anchor, it’s not just about you.’”

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Annette Funicello

To a generation of boys who watched The Mickey Mouse Club and later the teenagers who saw her beach movies with Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello was America’s First Girlfriend. So it came as quite a shock in 1992 when the 50-year-old star revealed that she had been battling multiple sclerosis for five years. “I believe everything happens for a reason,” Funicello told People at the time, “and I know now that my mission is to help others raise funds for MS.” To that end, she wrote an autobiography—A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes—in which she discussed the disease candidly. And in 1995, Funicello even made a cameo in the last scene of the TV movie based on her book. “It makes me so happy when I hear from people that my going public makes them feel stronger,” Funicello said in the voice-over. “Because if I can do it, they feel they can too.”

Phil McCarten, Reuters / Landov

Teri Garr

In 1983, shortly after she had received an Oscar nomination for her performance in Tootsie, Teri Garr tripped while jogging in Central Park. The then-33-year-old actress started experiencing numbness and tingling in her feet, but the symptom, which later included pain in her arm, would come and go. After 16 years, however, Garr finally received the diagnosis that she had multiple sclerosis. And Garr went public with the news—she appeared on Larry King and David Letterman and discussed the disease with humor. “I thought, there’s too much drama here,” Garr said in 2004. “What if someone went out and talked about it like a stand-up comic? If you get somebody laughing—and then stick in a point about something important—they’ll remember it.” To that end, she confessed that her doctor will often ask about her sexual functions. “I don’t know,” she answered. “I haven’t been invited to any lately.”

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Montel Williams

When Montel Williams received the news in 1999 that he had multiple sclerosis, the talk-show host did not take it well. “The doctor said I’d be in a wheelchair in four years, and I just wanted to quit,” he admitted in an interview this year. “I almost took my own life; the depression lasted about seven months. But now I’m looking to live instead of looking to die.” The Emmy Award-winner started the Montel Williams MS Foundation, which studies and raises awareness for the disease. Today, thanks in part to a change in diet, exercise, and medical marijuana, Williams is very active—including snowboarding and heli-boarding.

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

Joan Didion

In her 1979 essay collection, The White Album, Joan Didion wrote frankly about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis: “I might or might not experience symptoms of neural damage all my life. These symptoms, which might or might not appear, might or might not involve my eyes. They might or might not involve my arms or legs, they might or might not be disabling. Their effects might be lessened by cortisone injections, or they might not. It could not be predicted. The condition had a name, the kind of name usually associated with telethons, but the name meant nothing and the neurologist did not like to use it. The name was multiple sclerosis, but the name had no meaning. This was, the neurologist said, an exclusionary diagnosis, and meant nothing.” Though Didion did in fact experience blindness for six weeks, the disease appears to have been mostly in remission for years.

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David L. Lander

The Squiggy half of Laverne & Shirley’s beloved duo Lenny and Squiggy, David L. Lander learned he had multiple sclerosis shortly after the sitcom ended its run. He kept it a secret for 15 years before finally revealing that he had MS and becoming an ambassador for the National MS Society. The following year, Lander published an autobiography that didn’t shy away from his decision to be silent about his illness. The title? Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn’t Tell Nobody.

Erich Auerbach, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Jacqueline du Pré

A world-class cellist, Jacqueline du Pré’s career was cut short at age 28, after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Du Pré, who was married to pianist Daniel Barenboim, had first started experiencing numbness in her fingers two years earlier, and gave her last performances in 1973 at concerts with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein and Pinchas Zuckerman. She died in 1987, at the age of 42, and her life story was turned into the 1998 movie Hilary and Jackie, starring Emily Watson as du Pré and Rachel Griffiths as her sister, Hilary.

Mark J. Terrill / AP Photo

Richard Pryor

He had survived drug abuse, a heart attack, and setting himself on fire while freebasing, so when Richard Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986, he faced it the only way he knew how—with humor. Pryor simply said that MS stood for “More Shit.” He continued to do comedy and act—including appearing as an MS patient on Chicago Hope—until he was confined to a wheelchair. But Pryor never lost his fighting spirit. In 1993, 12 years before passing away, Pryor told Jet, “Since the earthquakes last year didn’t kill me, the drugs didn’t kill me, the fire didn’t me (although it hurt like a bitch), and my ex-wives (God bless them all) didn’t kill me, there is no way I’m going to let the MS kill me.”