Bob Saget’s sister, Gay, died of scleroderma at age 47, and he died on her birthday. Saget was found dead in an Orlando, Florida hotel room Sunday, January 9, 2022. He was 65.
Saget was a board member of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, the organization’s website says. He also wrote and directed the film, “For Hope,” about his sister’s struggle with the disease.
Here’s what you need to know:
Saget Died on the Day His Sister Would Have Celebrated Her 75th Birthday
Saget wrote a tribute to his sister in 2020, around the time of her birthday, sharing a photo of himself with his sister and their grandmother.
“My sister Gay would’ve been 73 yesterday,” he wrote on January 10, 2020. “She died when she was 47 from scleroderma, a disease that I’m part of finding the cure, as a proud board member of the #SclerodermaResearchFoundation – My heart goes out to everyone who has lost someone dear to them. The other sweet lady in the picture is our grandmother, Bella Comer. We lost her to old age. I am working on a cure for that too.”
Scleroderma, also called crest disease, is the name for a group of rare diseases that involves the tightening of the skin and connective tissues, according to the Mayo Clinic. It effects more women than men, and often effects people ages 30 to 50.
“There are many different types of scleroderma,” the Mayo Clinic writes. “In some people, scleroderma affects only the skin. But in many people, scleroderma also harms structures beyond the skin, such as blood vessels, internal organs and the digestive tract (systemic scleroderma). Signs and symptoms vary, depending on which type of scleroderma you have.”
Saget Was Actively Involved in the Scleroderma Research Foundation & Wrote a Directed a Film
Saget was a board member of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, the organization’s website says. He was actively involved in research and awareness for the disease following the death of his sister.
His profile on the organization’s website lists his accomplishments as an actor, followed by a description of his work with the organization.
“Most importantly, Bob wrote and directed the film, ‘For Hope,’ chronicling his sister’s struggles with scleroderma,” the profile says. “He joined the SRF Scleroderma Research Foundation Board of Directors in 2002 and has been a key figure in organizing and producing SRF’s annual signature event, Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine.”
The full-length film, “For Hope,” was released in 1996 and aired on ABC.
“In 1996, For Hope, a TV movie directed by SRF board member Bob Saget, aired on ABC and generated national awareness in scleroderma!” the foundation wrote in 2017. “The movie is based on the story of Saget’s sister Gay, who passed away from complications of scleroderma.”
“A fictional story based on real-life events of actor/comedian Bob Saget, exploring how he and his family coped with his sister Hope’s sudden illness and death,” Amazon Prime wrote. “Hope found out in her late 30s that she had developed a fatal strain of the disease scleroderma. As her health deteriorated, Hope rekindled relationships with her family, growing closer to her parents, older brother, and teenage son.”