Titanic’s Rose and Jack—better known by their alter egos Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio—have collaborated quite a few times over the years. Last year, they teamed up once again, this time for an important cause.
Doing a surprise call-in on Monday’s episode of British TV show This Morning, People reported, Winslet recounted the story of how she and DiCaprio raised enough money to save a cancer patient’s life. The guest, according to People, was dental nurse and mother Gemma Nuttall, who was diagnosed with life-threatening ovarian cancer. After refusing medication that would risk her unborn baby’s life, she made a recovery following her daughter’s birth. A year later, she developed multiple brain tumors.
To fund her almost $100,000 per session treatment, Nuttall created a GoFundMe, which Winslet stumbled upon while researching clinics for her own mother, who died of cancer last May. “I just thought, I can’t have this happen,” she said. “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.”
After coordinating a fundraising campaign over text with Nuttall’s mother, Winslet raised around $280,000. “I phoned Leo and I said, ‘Do you think we could do a charity dinner or something?’” she continued, according to People. “And he said, ‘Let’s go one better. Come with me to St. Tropez, to my big fundraiser for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation,’ which is back in July, ‘and we will auction off a dinner with Jack and Rose.’”
DiCaprio and Winslet ended up auctioning off three such dinners, raising $1.35 million in the process. Half went to DiCaprio’s foundation, which protects wildlife on the brink of extinction, and the rest went to Nuttall’s cause, with enough left over to start a foundation for cancer patients in need of funding that will be co-run by Nuttall and Winslet.
“I just want to say thank you so much for all your hard work and for me being able to have my treatment that I really did need,” Nuttall told Winslet on the show. “You saved my life and I just want you to know that.”
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