Christina Applegate was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday—her first public appearance since she announced her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis last year. In her emotional speech, she thanked her family for their support and grew emotional as she spoke about her daughter.
Applegate reflected on her long, full career (and was even joined at the podium by her former “Married With Children” costars Katey Sagal and David Faustino—Peg and Bud Bundy, respectively). But it was when she acknowledged the love and support of her 11-year-old daughter, Sadie Grace LeNoble, that brought tears to her eyes.
“The most important person in this world is my daughter,” said Applegate. “You are so much more than even you know. You are so beautiful and kind and loving and smart and interesting.”
Applegate shares Sadie with her husband, Martyn LeNoble. “I’m blessed every day that I get to wake up and take you to school. You are my everything. Thank you for standing by me through all of this.”
She also touched on her diagnosis, which occurred right in the middle of filming the third and final season of Netflix’s “Dead to Me,” Applegate’s hit show in which she stars alongside Linda Cardellini.
“Oh, by the way, I have a disease,” she joked. “Did you not notice? I’m not even wearing shoes.”
Applegate tweeted about going barefoot at the ceremony, saying shoes can be uncomfortable for those with MS.
According to the Mayo Clinic, MS is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and central nervous system. When someone has MS, their immune system causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves. While signs and symptoms of MS vary widely from person to person, as well as the amount of nerve damage and affected nerves. Some people with MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, and others can experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
In an interview with PEOPLE earlier this month, Applegate—who needs mobility aids to get around, and walks with a cane—opened up about how difficult it’s been adjusting to her new normal as she went back to work to finish the last season of her show.
“People are going to see me for the first time as a disabled person,” she said, “and it’s very difficult.”
Upon hearing of her medical diagnosis, the showrunners proposed “calling the plug,” but Applegate was determined to carry on.
“But I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no: We have to finish this story. It’s too important to our hearts; too important to our souls,'” she said. “So, if that meant me having to take a break in the middle of the day so I could go sleep—or me just leaving because I couldn’t do anymore—then that’s what we had to do.”
Sagal and Faustino shared their admiration and affection for Applegate, who played Kelly Bundy on “Married With Children” for 11 seasons.
“You know, sweetheart, some of us come into this life requiring broad shoulders because what’s coming at us needs support to bear it,” Sagal said of her former TV daughter during her speech at the ceremony. “Broad enough to hold what shows up. I’ve seen you — the high highs, the love and enormous success, coupled with extreme challenges. But you came in with those shoulders, and you bear the weight and you bend and you don’t break. I continue to love you, laugh with you and to learn from you. You are not alone. We’re all here. We love you.”
“Dead to Me” premieres on Nov. 17.