Jennifer Garner has a big heart, there’s no doubt about it. The two young daughters of producer Gordon Gray and his wife Kristen were diagnosed with Batten disease, which is an extremely rare degenerative brain disorder for which there is no cure, and Jennifer and the rest of the Hollywood community rallied around them to raise awareness and funds.
On Wednesday, the 43-year-old mother of three children herself, held a fundraiser to support the Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation and its mission of raising the $10-12 million needed to support research and find potential treatments for the disease.
“Kristen and Gordon Gray are not going to let us avert our eyes from their daughters’ condition,” Garner said. “In the middle of their pain and grief, they are going to face the facts of Batten disease and look us in the eye and ask us to join them in the fight.”
— Tim Gerszewski (@SanfordTimG) October 12, 2015
The little girls, Charlotte, four, and Gwenyth, two, were diagnosed with late-infantile-NCL Batten disease in March. Batten disease progresses rapidly and causes developmental regression, blindness, changes in behavior, seizures and dementia.
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) October 15, 2015
Little Charlotte is already experiencing some symptoms, including having trouble with speech and muscle control. Gwenyth, who is symptom-free for the moment, has tested positive for the disease.
“We need the money yesterday,” Gordon Gray, 50, told People magazine in June. “Every day is worse than the day before. It’s a degenerative disease and we just need to get started now.”
— DrJekylls Craft Beer (@DrJekylls) October 15, 2015
According to the Grays’s, their foundation is “very close” to the 3 million dollar mark.
“We still have a way to go, but each event brings awareness, touches new people and helps spread out message which is that we want to cure this horrible disease so that no other child will suffer,” the Grays said in a statement.
“It is wonderful to see how invested Jennifer is in not only to our cause but also other rare diseases,” they continued. “She is so open and willing to help in any way and for that we are very grateful.”