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Emma Caulfield Reveals MS Diagnosis: 'I'm So Tired of Not Being Honest'

Emma Caulfield MS

Buffy the Vampire Slayer vet Emma Caulfield has revealed that she multiple sclerosis, a health battle she has kept secret for more than a decade.

“Back in 2010, I was working on [executive producer] Marti Noxon’s Gigantic, and prior to starting that job, I woke up one morning and the left side of my face felt like there were a million ants crawling on it,” the actress (who is now going by Emma Caulfield Ford, following her 2017 marriage to actor Mark Leslie Ford) recalls to Vanity Fair.

An official MS diagnosis soon followed.

“It was like an out-of-body experience,” she tells the mag. “I’m like, ‘No, that’s not possible.’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ [The doctor] was very matter of fact about it…. It was literally a kind of nightmare.”

Caulfield says she hid her condition all these years (including from the cast and crew of her most recent TV gig, WandaVision) because she “didn’t want to give anyone the opportunity to not hire me,” adding, “There are already plenty of reasons to not hire people, reasons most actors don’t even know. ‘You look like my ex-girlfriend… You’re too short. You’re too tall. You look mean. You look too nice. You don’t have the right color eyes.’ I knew in my bones that if you talk about this, you’re just going to stop working. That’s it.”

MS is not going to prevent Caulfield from reprising her WandaVision role of Dottie in the forthcoming Disney+ spinoff Agatha: Coven of Chaos. “I am going back to work!” she declares to VF. “Everyone has been notified that needs to be notified. I can’t put myself through what I did with WandaVision again. I can’t do that. They did nothing wrong…. They had no idea what was going on with me. They didn’t ask anything of me that was like, ‘I need to call my agent!’ They’re asking me to just sit and chat and do my dialogue. It’s not hard. [I told them now] knowing that I shouldn’t be out in this [Atlanta] heat at all. And if I am, I need to be taking way more precautions than I am.”

Caulfield, whose father also has MS, goes on to share that she decided to go public with her condition because “I’m so tired of not being honest.” Her 6-year-old daughter also “changed my perspective,” she explains. “As I think anybody who is a parent can attest. I know that she has a 30 percent greater chance of coming down with this, just luck of the draw for her. She’s 6. She’s just started first grade…. It got me thinking about her and how full of joy and active she is, and she’s just such a remarkable little creature.”

On average, Caulfield says she is feeling “okay right now,” adding, “It’s a weird thing to say when you’re given a diagnosis like that, but truthfully, my attitude is not crumbling under the fear of ‘What if’ or ‘What can,’ or ‘What has’ for other people. I just have to keep going.”

You can read Caulfield’s full Vanity Fair interview here.