Christina Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler Share How MS 'Brought Us Together' — and Inspired Their New Podcast (Exclusive)

<p>Astrid Stawiarz/Getty; Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock</p> Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Christina Applegate

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty; Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Christina Applegate

Soon after Christina Applegate received the "devastating" diagnosis that she had multiple sclerosis in June 2021, her friend Lance Bass reached out.

"You need to talk to Jamie," he told her.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler had been living with the disease for two decades, so when Applegate got in touch, The Sopranos actress, who lives in Austin, was ready to help. "I wanted to give her tools and things that I've learned that have helped me," says Sigler, 42.

Related: Christina Applegate Reveals She Was Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

And, says Applegate, "we haven't stopped talking since."

Their relationship has since grown into a powerful friendship that's been a lifeline for both actresses as they face their futures with the disease. "MS brought us together," Sigler tells PEOPLE magazine in an exclusive sit-down interview with the two actresses for next week's issue.

"We have each other and that's helped us so much," says Applegate, 52, who learned she had the disease when she was in the midst of filming the last season of her Netflix series Dead to Me.

Now, their friendship has inspired a new podcast, MeSsy, debuting March 19. "We would talk on the phone for two hours, and we'd be laughing and crying and we were like, "This is helping us. Let's record this. Let's do it," Applegate says.

<p>Wishbone Production</p> Christina Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler's MeSsy podcast debuts March 19

Wishbone Production

Christina Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler's MeSsy podcast debuts March 19

Adds Sigler, who kept her own diagnosis hidden for 15 years before revealing it in a PEOPLE story in 2016, "the way that Christina disarms me and allows me to talk about the hard stuff, I needed desperately."

Although the podcast (which will also feature conversations with famous friends, and former co-stars like Martin Short and Edie Falco) provides an unflinching —and darkly humorous — look at the challenges of MS (case in point: an upcoming episode riffs on adult diapers), it is not a podcast about MS, they say.

Related: Christina Applegate Jokes Through Tears That Emmys Crowd Shouldn't 'Applaud' Everything She Does amid MS Journey

"It's not about the specific experience we're having," Sigler says. "It's us facing something hard and it's about figuring out how to still push through. I've never been more ... nervous isn't the word, but like a good anxious about any project I've ever put out more than this, because I care so deeply about it. We are sharing the deepest parts of ourselves."

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