With all of the glitz and glamor of the Academy Awards, and the endless stream of celebrity photos after the event, it was easy to overlook Selma Blair’s appearance at Vanity Fair's after party.
But walking the red carpet with a cane in hand was a huge moment for Blair, 46, as the event marked her first public appearance since revealing her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in October.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and incurable condition that damages the brain and spinal cord. Over time, MS can "flare up" with symptoms like blurry vision, pain, numbness, and balance problems, or cause lasting damage like paralysis.
While the Anger Management star has been upbeat about managing her symptoms and continuing to act in Instagram messages to her fans, she was overcome by emotion at the post-Oscars party on Sunday.
With a decorated cane for balance and her manager, Troy Nankin, by her side, Blair posed for photographs in a multi-colored dress with a cape and jeweled collar. At one point, Nankin appeared to wipe a tear from Blair’s eye as she held her pose for the photographers.
"It took so much to come out," she told the crowd through sobs, before turning away from the cameras and leaning on Nankin for support.
"There are moments that define us," Blair wrote about the event on social media. "This is one of those indelibly watermarked in my heart."
"I have become a different woman in the last few years, through struggles and the intense pride of motherhood. @vanityfair has always been a champion of mine, like Troy. And yet, I have not fully realized my capabilities as an actress."
Blair, wrote that she first attended the Vanity Fair party in 2000, and said returning to the prestigious party after her diagnosis felt symbolic.
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When my life flashes before my eyes, I want this portrait by @markseliger to be front and center. @vanityfair @frankieboyd @mrchrismcmillan @elizabethstewart1 @ralphandrusso @thetexastroya @tombachik @lyon_hearted @kristasmith @radhikajones Thank you. 🖤 #markseliger #glory
"I am still in an exacerbation so there was some nervousness," she explained. Exacerbations or flares are periods when MS symptoms are more severe because of inflammation.
"I don’t do anything the way I was once able. I will though. I can regain much," she wrote.
Posing for the cameras is something that many celebrities take for granted, but for Blair walking the red carpet again felt redemptive.
"I felt the warmth of the bulbs. The strength of my gown. [Troy’s] attentive touch. And still I hoped my brain could send signals for the remainder of my time there," she wrote.
"And I sobbed. And I appreciated every single second. Every surprising tear, he was there. As he has always been. And that is the reason I could."
Despite the everyday struggles of life with MS that she shares with her social media followers, Blair’s condition has not slowed down her career one bit. She’s set to appear in the Netflix series Another Life, and has two upcoming movies.
[H/T: Daily Mail]