Bob Saget’s Death Has Led Fans to Donate More Than $80k to Medical Research

by Allison Hambrick
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Scleroderma Research Foundation

Late television icon Bob Saget leaves behind an incredible legacy beyond Full House. The actor was a tireless advocate for the Scleroderma Research Foundation.

In 1994, Saget lost his older sister Gay to the disease. Since then, “America’s Dad” dedicated himself to finding a cure. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the skin and in severe cases, other parts of the body. Mild scleroderma forms cause the skin to form hard patches, while severe forms can cause inflammation in the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

“My sister, Gay Saget, was a school teacher near Philadelphia. She was 44 when she was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma,” Saget said in an interview with NIH Medline Plus Magazine. “Then she got treatment, but it was just treating her symptoms with drugs like prednisone and cortisone. She had to move to Los Angeles to live with my parents because she needed so much help. She passed away just two years later.”

Saget raised awareness of scleroderma in a variety of ways. In 1996, he directed the film For Hope, loosely based on Gay’s life. Additionally, he served on the board of directors for the Scleroderma Research Foundation for 25 years. During that time, Saget hosted many of their events. This included the “Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine” fundraiser, which featured Saget’s standup comedy pals as well as celebrity chefs. Over the years, that event alone raised $25 million for the foundation.

Since the star’s tragic passing, donations to the Scleroderma Research Foundation poured in. Around $80,000 in donations have been received from Saget’s fans. Even after his passing, Saget’s dedication to his sister and to his cause helps others.

Bob Saget Was a Tireless Scleroderma Advocate

After his death, the Scleroderma Research Foundation issued the following statement: “It is with a very heavy heart that we mourn the loss of our friend and Board member, Bob Saget. [He] was a champion for scleroderma patients everywhere dating back to 1991 when he first became involved with the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF), even before his sister Gay lost her battle with the disease in 1994. Bob was a deeply caring father, husband, and colleague, who was unreservedly committed to the mission of the SRF.”

Moreover, Saget did more than raise money for the foundation. The comedian also provided support for the patients and families affected by scleroderma. The best example of this is his friendship with Sophie Anne Seaman. She was diagnosed at age seven. Upon hearing this, Saget reached out to the girl’s parents.

“We are going to find a cure, sending lots of love,” Saget said in a video he sent to the family. Seaman’s parents, Jeff and Martha, also revealed that Saget allowed their other daughter to interview him for a school paper. In true Danny Tanner fashion, he spent over 30 minutes answering the child’s questions.