Celebrities who Support Scleroderma Research
Charities gain much publicity when a celebrity face raises greater awareness of the fight to combat disease and fight for further research. Here are some of the celebrities who support continued research into scleroderma.
Famous for his comedic improvisational skills, there was little that Williams found to make about scleroderma, calling in a “horrible disease with nothing to recommend it, other than the incredible courage which its victims muster in the face of overwhelming odds and terrible suffering." However, research has since shown specific areas that hold great promise in finding a cure. Williams and other celebrities have raised vast sums for further research into scleroderma through comedy nights, which have also raised the profile of the disease.
Queen Latifah's mother, Rita Owens, died in March 2018 having been diagnosed with scleroderma in 2013, though she had already been diagnosed with heart failure in 2004. Queen Latifah, born Dana Owens, is famous for being a rapper, singer, actress, producer and entertainment mogul and has been supportive of further research into the disease of scleroderma, having experienced being a carer for her mother when scleroderma caused scar tissue to accumulate in her lungs, requiring oxygen treatment.
In 1996, the Emmy Award winner and "Desperate Housewives" actress played a patient dying of scleroderma in the ABC TV movie, "For Hope." This film was based on the true story of Gay, the sister of the actor/comedian Bob Saget's who died of the disease. The role led Delany to join the movement to find a cure for the illness and in 1999 joined the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation in the United States.
In 2017, Bob Saget was the honorary guest at the Cool Comedy Hot Cuisine benefit celebrating 30 years of the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Saget was also the host that evening, having organised the event for 25 years after having lost a close friend Sharon Monsky, who was the founder and then CEO of the Scleroderma Research Foundation who was diagnosed with the disease when she was a young mother of three. It was only later that his sister was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease.
An actor, producer, musician, and singer, Stamos first gained recognition for his role in the US drama General Hospital, for which he was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. A heartthrob to many, Stamos has supported the campaign for further research into scleroderma, drawing in members of the public who might not have otherwise been made aware of the disease.
Another comedian supportive of research into scleroderma, Jim has no direct connection with the disease, but with his wife needing emergency surgery to remove a brain tumour, found quite by chance in 2017 and that happened to be benign even though life-threatening at the time gave him a new-found respect for those living with chronic diseases like scleroderma.