She walked with a cane at the Oscars, significantly raising awareness of the condition. She posted a series of lighthearted videos to Instagram, in which she explained how MS has affected the way she applies make-up (“my fine motor skills aren’t, like, fine at this moment,” she joked during her tutorial). She cut her hair into a pixie cut because she no longer has the strength to lift her arms and brush her hair.
And now, in a new Instagram post shared on Throwback Thursday, Blair has revealed how her diagnosis has impacted her dreams of getting back to horseback riding.
“After I gave birth and felt half dead all the time, after the rage and the tears, after my heart exploded with caring and understanding, before any diagnosis, I searched for this horse,” Blair said in the throwback photo’s caption, which saw her kissing her horse.
“I knew the only place I was really growing with self love was at @cellardoorequestrian. My trainer found me #skytop. He needed to be able to handle kisses. Prerequisite. Truly. And he did.”
Since then, though, Blair has found herself unable to ride the horse she so loved.
“We only had a short time before I couldn’t even get to him or stay on. But he has come so far. And even though I may seem like I have gone farther away, I am learning and getting healthier.
“Even as I get seemingly sicker. I will jump this horse around again. Affording horseshows will require some major work opportunities ahead. So I am asking for it all. I am asking. For all of us who want it. Ask. Ask. Listen.”
She finished powerfully: “I have the unicorn. Now I have to be able to find him again.”
Blair – who previously said “there is no shame in using whatever you can to get around” – also recently shared a photo of herself using a mobility aid.
“This post gives me so much joy,” she captioned the shot. “As you may know, I wouldn’t be able to get around and enjoy time with my son and family if I didn’t have this life-changing, and amazing mobility aid.”
Blair went on to reveal that she planned to give one such mobility aid away to one of her followers.
“I am asked every day I go out about this invention from #bealink and people are amazed,” she said. “We now it is a hefty but well worth price tag and are aware it takes a village of support for many to have access to this game changing way of healing and moving forward.
“So we are giving one away to someone who so deserves who has yet to reach their goal. I ask anyone that is able and willing… to go to @the_alinker_worldand see ongoing campaigns and help someone the way this has helped me and @stringfellow_deeds and so many.”
Blair added: “I see the importance of raising strangers who want to do more. Who can, if given support. Thank you for reading. I will announce the next lucky recipient in my next post.
“I am so excited. Standby!”
Blair, whose films include blockbusters Legally Blonde and The Sweetest Thing, was diagnosed with MS in August 2018. However, she has been suffering symptoms of the disease for years.
She says she was “never taken seriously” by doctors until she collapsed in front of one while struggling with what she thought was a trapped nerve (in fact, it was caused by brain lesions picked up by a subsequent MRI scan).
MS is an incurable condition affecting the brain or spinal cord, causing vision, balance and muscle problems. It’s most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s to 30s (although it can develop at any age) – and it’s about two to three times more common in women than men.
However, much like many other “invisible” diseases, MS is rarely discussed openly. And this is despite the fact that an estimated 2.3 million people live with MS around the world.
“I’m pretty much a nobody in Hollywood,” Blair said previously. “But when I read comments on Instagram from people who were suffering, whether it was from MS, or anything, I thought, there’s a need for honesty about being disabled from someone recognisable.”
She added: “I am in the thick of it but I hope to give some hope to others, and even to myself. You can’t get help unless you ask.”
Do you or a loved one suffer from MS? Seek help and support with MS Society now.