Hollywood film Producer Gordon Gray is going through a really tough phase in his life. Gray, the producer of successful movies like “Invincible”, “Miracle”, “The Game Plan” learnt earlier this year that his both daughters have Batten disease, a rare and fatal neuro-degenerative disorder. Those diagnosed with this fatal disease gradually will go through progressive neurological impairment and go on to develop dementia and seizures, including loss of sight and speech and typically die during their childhood or teenage years.
Initially noticing some speech disturbances in his two daughters, Producer Gray and his wife had decided to seek medical help for their daughters and after a year of examinations, his elder daughter Charlotte, aged 4 was diagnosed with the rare genetic disease. Soon after her diagnosis, his younger girl, Gwyneth, aged 2 was also examined and unfortunately, the results were positive.
The disease that the Gray sisters have been diagnosed is indeed a very rare kind. Only two families have been diagnosed with this disease in United States and it has been estimated only 10 people in the world have it at any one time. Much research has not been carried out on this disease.
Learning the condition of his young girls was immensely painful to Gray and his wife as the doctors said that there is no cure for this disease. The ‘Invincible’ producer felt defeated as his whole world came crashing down in front of his eyes.
However, when all hopes were getting lost, Gray met some researchers from Sanford Research, a non – profit making research organisation. The Gray family is currently working with Jil Weimer from the organisation along with a family from Israel who have also been inflicted. They are determined to find molecular drugs that might cure the disease. Reportedly, Dr. Jil has successfully cured a similar disorder in animals. So, the family is hoping to achieve similar results for their daughters. Synthetic drugs are being used on cells grown from the Gray sisters’ blood in order to find out which drug might reverse the damage caused to their cells.
The research for the cure of the disease costs $10 million which is a huge sum of money. Gray, who produced the movie ‘Million Dollar Arm’ which has a box office net worth of $38.3m has started fund raising campaign to find cure for his daughters. The determined Gray couple have founded the Charlotte and Gwyneth Gray Foundation for the same.
The Camie Award and a Sports Emmy Award winning producer has honoured his daughters by adding a heart-breaking video of them. Many of the Hollywood celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jessica Alba, Mark Wahlberg and other scame forward to support his cause and more helping to raise awareness.
Also, the celebrities have taken an initiative to support the cause by tweeting about his campaign and asking their followers to donate $1 each.
Kim Kardashian tweeted:
I support @curebatten because every $ we raise helps more children live.
Jennifer Lawrence tweeted:
Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray are battling an extremely rare and fatal disorder called Batten disease. Let's help them #curebatten.
#Gray Daughters Illness
I'm never going to give up hope, or give up fighting. I have to believe that I'm going to save my girls,' Mr Gray said.