Kate Winslet has spoken about how she teamed up with Leonardo DiCaprio to fund a woman’s lifesaving cancer treatment in a surprise phone call to British TV show This Morning.
The actress and her Titanic co-star teamed up to auction off the chance to join them on three dinner dates at a gala event last July (17), primarily raising funds Leonardo’s environmental foundation.
With the dinner auction they also aimed to attract bids to help fund cancer treatment for Gemma Nuttall, a 29-year-old mom needing pioneering treatment.
Kate, 42, revealed that she came across Gemma’s tragic case while researching treatment for her own mother, Sally Anne who passed away last May after battling ovarian cancer.
Speaking via telephone alongside Gemma on British daytime TV show This Morning on Monday (05Feb18), Kate said, “My own mom was very, very unwell and I just thought my mom would be incredibly proud of us if I could do this for another young mom. It was just amazing. I started putting word out there. I became determined to raise this money.”
Gemma was initially diagnosed with the same form of the disease as Kate’s mum while carrying her first child, and underwent chemotherapy only for the cancer to return in her brain – leaving her family desperately trying to raise funds for her to have immunotherapy treatment in Germany.
When Kate first became involved, Gemma’s family had only raised $12,600 of the $421,000 she needed for treatment, and after getting two-thirds of the way to their goal, the actress called Leo, 43, to help out.
“We got close to $280,000 and at that point I thought, ‘It’s time to call my friend Leo‘. He said, ‘We will auction off a dinner with Jack and Rose. And we raised $1.3 million. We did three (dinners). Half would go to his foundation.”
As the amount raised far exceeded the cash needed for Gemma’s treatment, which has been successful, they have set up a new foundation to help individuals who are in the same situation as her.
Gemma broke down as she spoke to the Hollywood superstar over the phone, telling her, “You saved my life”, while Kate said she hoped the success of her treatment would give other families hope.