If you have been on the inter webs in the last two days, there is a good chance you have heard about the heart-wrenching story of The Gray family. Movie producer Gordon Gray and his beautiful wife Kristen are in a race against the clock to raise $10 million dollars to fund and expedite the research to find a cure for a very rare neurodegenerative disease called Batten disease. It affects both of their daughters Charlotte (4.5 years old) and Gwenyth who is almost two. Currently, this is seriously under-funded and largely unknown disease that has no cure and is fatal. But there is hope. And they have Hollywood on their side.
Tinseltown’s best and brightest, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Channing Tatum, Jessica Alba,Jeremy Renner and many others have all been showing their support for this cause by rallying their followers, via social media. Scooter Braun’s picture of the girls commanded almost 50,000 likes on Instagram while Khloe Kardashian tweeted the foundation’s information to her 14.5 million followers. And Megan Fox shot a video offering a walk on her role on the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 in exchange for support of the Charlotte + Gwenyth Gray Foundation. That video has garnered over 249,000 views.
It is clear that people have taken to and want to help these kind and dynamic children. And I sat down with Kristen, who is also a very close personal friend of mine, to get her take on the outpouring of support that her family has received. “It’s unbelievable and goes to show how people really care and will rally behind these two little girls. Even complete strangers. And we are grateful for the celebrity outreach because we could have never gotten our message out so quickly and on such a large scale without them.” She continued,”My husband is in a business, thankfully, where people know him and care about him and our family.”
What’s next for the Gray’s? “To raise the money to expedite the research and development to get a cure for Batten’s actualized. And once we cure the girls and Batten’s, we want to shine a spotlight on and create awareness for other rare and orphan diseases, so that a cure can be found for those illnesses as well.” says Kristen.
And with all of this media attention, the girls have become somewhat of internet sensations. Just use the hashtag #CureBatten or #CharlotteandGwenyth, like Justin Timberlake did, and you will see. But Charlotte and Gwenyth aren’t aware of all of the action around them. Gray assures,”They are just enjoying being kids. But if they knew, they would be so grateful. And Charlotte would want to give every person who supported her and her sister a big hug and a kiss, because she is so loving. And our hope is, twenty years from now, she can tell her story and she can say thank you.”
Please find it in your heart to support the Gray family by going to www.curebatten.org, donating to the foundation and spreading the word via social media using #CureBatten. And to contact the family directly, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.