Keanu Reeves donated 70% of his salary from the first The Matrix film to fund leukemia research – after his younger sister struggled with the disease for 10 years.
The 57-year-old actor, who was allegedly paid $ 10 million in advance and earned $ 35 million in total for the first film in the franchise in 1999, was inspired to fund research into blood cancer after his sister Kim, now 55, was diagnosed in 1991, reports Ladbibel.
Keanu became Kim’s primary caregiver during this time and helped with her recovery after spending a decade battling cancer before going into remission.
Inspiration: Keanu Reeves donated 70% of his salary from the first The Matrix film to fund leukemia research – after his younger sister battled the disease for 10 years (pictured last month)
The Speed star’s devotion to his sister led him to sell his home to be closer to her, and the Matrix successors were delayed – he also allegedly spent $ 5 million on therapies to help Kim recover.
He has previously said of his sister: ‘She was always there for me, you know. I will always be here for her. ‘
The acclaimed actor has since launched a charity fund to help those battling cancer.
In 2009, he told the Ladies Home Journal: ‘I have a private foundation that has been running for five or six years and it helps help a couple of children’s hospitals and cancer research.
Family: The actor, 57, was inspired to fund research into blood cancer after his sister Kim, now 55, was diagnosed in 1991, reports LadBible (the picture with sisters Kim left and Karina in the 1990s)
‘I do not like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.’
Keanu, called the ‘girlfriend of the internet’, has long been known for his charitable nature.
According to a 2001 Wall Street Journal report, the star handed over a significant portion of his second and third Matrix films back-end points (which determined how much of the film’s profits he would receive) to the VFX and costume design team.
The report said: ‘He felt that it was they who made the film and that they should participate.’
In June 2020, Keanu, who is known for donating a large portion of his income to charity, auctioned off a 15-minute virtual zoom date to raise money for a children’s cancer charity, Camp Rainbow Gold.
Iconic: The actor was reportedly paid $ 10 million in advance and earned $ 35 million in total for the first film in the 1999 franchise (pictured in The Matrix in 1999)
Back in October, it was revealed that he was gifting his John Wick 4 four-man stunt team Rolex Submariner watches worth $ 9,150 each.
Keanu became her main caregiver in the early 1990s and helped care for her back to health while his acting career went stratospheric.
He said, ‘She’s always been there for me, you know. I will always be here for her. ‘
She recovered from her illness, and Keanu has since set up a cancer charity, but chose not to link her name to it.
The recipients of the gifts – Bruce Concepcion, Jeremy Marinas, Dave Camarillo and Li Qiang – with Marinas sharing the gift on his Instagram story.
Repeated: Keanu recently repeated his role as Neo alongside Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity in the fourth film in the franchise, The Matrix Resurrections (pictured)
He added that it was the ‘best wrapping gift ever’, revealing the inscription that read: ‘The John Wick Five Jeremy Thank you Keanu JW4 2021.’
With mail production underway, Lionsgate has set a release date for May 27, 2022 for the sequel.
Reeves returns as the title character along with Laurence Fishburne as The Bowery King, Lance Reddick as Charon and Ian McShane as Winston.
New cast include Donnie Yen as Caine, Hiroyuki Sanada as Shimazu and Shamier Anderson as Tracker.
No story details have been released so far.
WHAT IS LEUKÆMI?
Leukemia is a cancer that starts in the blood-forming tissues, usually the bone marrow.
It leads to overproduction of abnormal white blood cells, which fight infections.
However, a higher number of white blood cells means that there is ‘less space’ for other cells, including red blood cells – which transport oxygen around the body – and platelets – which cause the blood to clot when the skin is cut.
There are many different types of leukemia, which are defined by the immune cells they affect and how the disease progresses.
For all types combined, 9,900 people in the UK were diagnosed with leukemia in 2015, Cancer Research UK statistics show.
And in the United States, about 60,300 people were told they had the disease last year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Most cases have no obvious cause where the cancer is not contagious or hereditary.
Leukemia generally becomes more common with age – the exception is acute lymphocytic leukemia, which peaks in children.
Other risk factors include being male, exposed to certain chemicals or radiation and some bone marrow diseases.
The symptoms are generally vague and get worse over time.
These may include:
- Frequent infections
- Heavy menstruation, nosebleeds or bleeding gums
- Shortness of breath
Acute leukemia – which develops rapidly and aggressively – can often be cured via chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a stem cell transplant.
Chronic forms of the disease – which typically develop slowly – tend to be incurable, but these patients can often live with the disease.
Source: Leukemia care