(WTNH)– A group of celebrities are using their fame for a good cause by raising money for a rare children’s disease.
You may notice photos of two little girls showing up on your news-feed from celebrities like Rihanna, Channing Tatum and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Those little girls are 4-year-old Charlotte and her younger sister, 2-year-old Gwenyth, the daughters of movie producer Gordon Gray, who are suffering from Batten disease.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Batten disease is “a fatal, inherited disorder of the nervous system that typically begins in childhood.” Children with the disease suffer from seizures, visual impairments/blindness, loss of mobility and behavior changes. They usually die between the ages of 6 and 12.
Gray’s daughters were diagnosed with the brain disease in March and while there is no cure, Gray and his wife Kristen decided to form a plan to fight by creating The Charlotte And Gwenyth Gray Foundation.
According to Deadline, the foundation is using social media to help raise the $10 million-$12 million needed to fund urgent research that they hope will cure the disease that’s been afflicting children since 1903. It will take an initial $2 million to launch the necessary trials to prove the treatments will work so the rest of the funding will go through.
Celebrities have taken this cause to heart and urged their millions of followers to donate $1 so the money can add up quickly and the Grays can beat the clock. So far, Deadline reports that Rihanna, Dwayne Johnson, Megan Fox, Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Seth MacFarlane, Jennifer Garner, Jon Hamm, Jessica Alba, Eva Longoria, Jessica Biel, Ali Larter, Darius Rucker, Juanes, Norman Reedus, Julianne Hough, Brooke Burke, Molly Sims, U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan, basketball player Jason Collins, and NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, have all gotten behind the cause.
Gray told Deadline “I’m a film producer, and everyone assumes when they read the grosses that I’m keeping every dollar, and in that sense it helped because doctors were paying attention when I said that I was going to find the money to progress and accelerate this research.”
Gray’s hope is that this can save his children as well as other children afflicted with childhood diseases.
For more information, go to www.curebatten.org.