Bob Saget experienced the tragedy of losing both of his sisters, Andrea and Gay, to natural causes that occurred well before anyone could have expected. According to People, Andrea died in 1985 of a brain aneurysm, and just shy of a decade later, Gay died from the autoimmune disorder scleroderma. Meaning “hard skin,” scleroderma is an incurable disease that involves “the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues,” as defined by the Mayo Clinic.
When Gay was diagnosed in 1992, Saget was already familiar with the disease from previously accepting an invitation to perform standup at a benefit. The “America’s Funniest Home Videos” host began fundraising with the Scleroderma Research Foundation regularly. In an article he wrote for Today in 2016, he shared, “Performing and hosting benefits were the only ways to fund research dedicated to finding a cure, or, at the very least, finding ways to put the disease into some kind of remission. That was the best way to fund-raise for this difficult disease — through humor.”
Only four years into his work with the foundation, Saget and his family were directly affected and devastated by the disease as Gay died at the age of 47. He went on to become a board member and continued to raise awareness for the cause until his death, leaving behind a hopeful legacy of those looking to help.