Christina Applegate: “Everything is going to be alright”

Editor’s Note — This story is part of COUNTDOWN to 50, a series that examines not only the changes in pop culture, but also the culture around us, and the changes that may impact…

Christina Applegate: "Everything is going to be alright"

Editor’s Note — This story is part of COUNTDOWN to 50, a series that examines not only the changes in pop culture, but also the culture around us, and the changes that may impact us all.

Christina Applegate celebrated her 50th birthday on Wednesday with a special visit to CNN’s iReport, sharing her hopes for the future, her first encounter with MS and a message of hope for others affected by this life-changing disease.

“I had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012, so 50 was going to be big,” Applegate says. “I wanted to make the most of it.”

It’s going to change everything for her, but right now it’s just about living, enjoying and enjoying now. “I’m in really good hands,” she says. “Everything’s going well.”

Applegate said her first visit to the doctor didn’t come as a total surprise, since she’d been seeing his friend for a long time. “I remember going in with him, he’s like a regular guy in his office. But I said, ‘I have MS,’ and it was really shocking. But I also didn’t really know what it was — I knew it had symptoms, but I didn’t know it was serious. I knew it was like a dull ache in my fingers and it was scary, but I didn’t know the magnitude of it until I came to visit a doctor.

“It’s not something you get in a dream, so it’s not a disease you grow up with. You are diagnosed, and everything changes, but now I feel so lucky that I made it through,” she says.

Applegate, the star of “Up All Night,” “Married with Children” and “Family Ties,” turned 50 on Wednesday, with mom and dad by her side, plus her husband, Martyn LeNoble.

“Right now, my mother is the one who has taught me the biggest lesson — that you can always do more than you expect,” she says. “For instance, every once in a while, I will stop and enjoy a shower, a bath, a walk, or a nice warm meal. You just never know when it will be your last.

“I really do believe that with a little intention, nothing is ever too hard,” she says. “And everything is going to be alright.”

-Brittany Pazano, CNN

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