Kate Winslet has revealed how she and her Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio used their Hollywood star power to ‘save the life’ of a young woman with ovarian cancer.
29-year-old Gemma Nuttall was given just six to 12 months to live after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. When Winslet, whose own mother died of the same illness last year, learned of Gemma’s situation through a GoFundMe campaign, she decided to recruit her former co-star and long-time friend Leo to help raise funds for treatment.
‘I phoned Leo and I said, “Do you think we could do a charity dinner or something?” the actress told This Morning. ‘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.”’
The Titanic duo auctioned off not one but three ‘Jack and Rose’ dinners to raise $1.35 million, splitting the proceeds between the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Gemma was then able to undergo cancer treatment at a clinic in Germany.
‘We raised [around £1 million] and the treatment has worked,’ Kate said. ‘I think that’s a real headline here: that things really can be done when there is a poor prognosis, just a devastating prognosis.’
‘I just thought, “I can’t have this happen,”’ she added, alluding to her own family’s experiences with cancer. ‘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.’
The funds left over from last summer’s auction have allowed Kate to ‘set up another foundation – which Gemma is going to help me run and be involved with […] which will specifically help individuals who are in exactly the position that Gemma has been in. So, so much good has come out of this remarkable moment,’ she explained, adding that she feels ‘so blessed that [she] could help.’
Speaking on This Morning, Gemma said: ‘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. You saved my life and I just want you to know that.