A young British woman who was told she would die from cancer has been given the all-clear after Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio helped to raise money to fund her lifesaving treatment.
The Oscar-winning duo auctioned off three private dinners with "Jack and Rose" to help 29-year-old Gemma Nuttall, from Lancashire, who was pregnant when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer.
Nuttall turned down potentially lifesaving drugs on the NHS because it would have meant ending the pregnancy. When her daughter Penelope was born at 26 weeks, doctors told her the cancer had spread to her cervix and there was nothing they could do. She was given as little as six months to live and put on palliative care.
But Nuttall and her mother Helen launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise £300,000 for specialist cancer treatment in Germany. In a happy twist of fate, Winslet heard about the initiative and threw her weight behind the fundraiser, auctioning off three private dinners with "Jack and Rose".
The dinners were snapped up during an auction in July held for DiCaprio's conservation foundation in St Tropez, helping Nuttall to reach her target.
Nuttall finished the treatment five months ago and has since received the all-clear, MailOnline reported. During an appearance on ITV's This Morning yesterday, she thanked Winslet over the phone: "Thank you so much for all your hard work [and] me being able to have my treatment that I really did need. You saved my life."
Winslet said she was inspired to get involved by her mother. “I just thought ‘I can’t have this happen. My own mother was very, very unwell, and I just thought my mum would be incredibly proud if I could do this for somebody else, for another young mum.”
Speaking of her efforts with DiCaprio, she said: “It was just amazing. We got close to £200,000 ($280,000) and at that point I thought, ‘Right, it’s time to call my friend Leo’... I phoned Leo and I said, ‘Do you think we could do a charity dinner or something?’ And 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 pair raised $1.35 million (around £967,000), which was split between Nuttall's treatment, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and a new foundation that's being launched to help other cancer sufferers. “I am now able to set up another foundation — which Gemma is going to help me run and be involved with — another foundation which will specifically help individuals who are in exactly the position that Gemma has been in," added Winslet. "So, so much good has come out of this remarkable moment."
Winslet said Nuttall's story was "utterly incredible" and that she felt "so blessed" to have been able to help. "It actually really did work. We raised the money and the treatment has worked and I think that's the real headline here, is that things can be done when there's a poor prognosis, such a devastating prognosis, like the one you had."
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