Gemma Nuttall was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the same time she found out she was 16 weeks’ pregnant. After she had her baby she began six months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but later learned she had brain and lung cancer as well. The prognosis wasn’t good, and doctors told her to make a will and provisions for her daughter. She was put on palliative care, being told she had just months to live.
But after some research, Gemma’s mum found a clinic in Germany that offered immunotherapy, a treatment method that uses the body’s own immune system to help fight cancer. Unfortunately, each treatment cost nearly $98,000 ― and Nuttall would need six.
Fortunately, Kate Winslet stumbled across Gemma’s story and plea for help, while researching clinics in Germany for her own mother who was suffering from cancer.
Winslet’s heart sank. Knowing she couldn’t just let Gemma die and also doing it for her Mum, she decided to do something about it.
Winslet threw herself into action, helping Nuttall’s mom to raise funds. Eventually, she called in help from Leonardo DiCaprio, her close friend and former co-star.
When she asked DiCaprio if they could pull together a charity dinner he said, ‘Let’s go one better. Come with me to St. Tropez, to my big fundraiser for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and we will auction off a dinner with Jack and Rose.’
The ‘Titanic’ stars ended up auctioning off three dinners with themselves and raised over $1.35 million for treatment.
Nuttall was blown away by Kate and Leo’s efforts, saying, “You saved my life and I just want you to know that.”
Though the initial round of treatment was a success, Nuttall isn’t totally out of the woods yet. Winslet continues to be her champion, pushing for more donations to support the 28-year-old mum.