Bob Saget became a health activist after a family tragedy

Bob Saget was best known for his comedy and acting, but he also did plenty of work beyond these realms.

Among his other projects was activism, specifically his quest for a cure for scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that eventually took the life of his older sister, Gay.

According to the Mayo Clinic, scleroderma is “a group of rare diseases that involve hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissue.”

The case, which was found dead Sunday at age 65 in Florida, sat on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF), and first joined the organization in 2003, according to the foundation’s website.

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Bob Saget dedicated a lot of time to helping find a cure for scleroderma.

Bob Saget dedicated a lot of time to helping find a cure for scleroderma.
(Getty Images)

“Bob’s openness and generosity brought many people to the SRF who otherwise would never have heard of scleroderma,” reads their statement. “Our society often faces heavy losses, and Bob was uniquely driven to provide comfort and strength to all of us and the families most affected by the disease. He was always the ‘big shoulder’ we could all lean on. of.”

The case’s sister died of the disease in 1994 at the age of 47 after just three years of battling the condition. In a 2011 interview with Ability magazine, Saget said his sister had been “misdiagnosed many times” before doctors found the correct condition she was suffering from.

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“Unfortunately, in many places, rheumatologists do not have very many scleroderma patients coming through their laboratories and no one knew what to do with her,” he said at the time. “I wish I had known then what I know now.”

In fact, Gay’s fight with scleroderma was the basis of “For Hope,” a 1996 television movie directed by Saget.

Bob Saget's sister Gay suffered from scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that causes the skin and other connective tissues to tighten up.

Bob Saget’s sister Gay suffered from scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that seeks to tighten the skin and other connective tissue.
(Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic)

His advocacy against scleroderma, however, began before his sister became ill at all, when he was asked to appear for a benefit for the disease before her diagnosis.

“No one knew about the disease at the time. Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres and I were all involved in the benefit, but that was 25 years ago and neither of us had any real TV life to speak of,” he recalled. during the Ability Interview. “Sharon Monsky, who founded the Scleroderma Research Foundation, organized that benefit.”

SCLERODERMA: THE DISEASE THAT BOB SAID STRUGGLED TO FIND A CURE FOR, AFTER TAKING HIS SISTER’S LIFE

Among his work to find a cure for the disease was lobbying in Washington, DC, he shared.

“We’ve really done some amazing things. My part of the effort has been to host benefits that raise awareness and make a lot of money,” he said. The case counted Dana Carvey and the late Robin Williams among the celebrities who had attended.

Bob Saget was found dead in a hotel room in Florida on January 9th.

Bob Saget was found dead in a hotel room in Florida on January 9th.
(Getty Images)

The case’s involvement in activism came after a life filled with family tragedies.

“My mother and father lost four children. All I saw was death,” he told Ability.

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In addition to his sister Gay, Saget’s family lost two children born before the actor, one of whom was named Bob.

Then in 1985, years before Gay’s death, Case’s second sister, Andrea, died of a brain aneurysm.

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“So please get back to me regarding the brain aneurysm problem!” he joked.

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