Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological

Annette Funicello stopped being just another teenager in 1955, when she and the rest of the Mousketeers were introduced to America in a national TV special that coincided with the opening of Disneyland. Since that day, she has lived her life in the spotlight.

She first noticed signs of what would be diagnosed as multiple sclerosis while working on the 1987 film Back to the Beach. In 1992, she made her diagnosis public, saying "I think you only have two choices in this kind of situation. Either you give in to it or you fight it. I intend to fight." Funicello includes details of her personal experiences with MS — as well as many backstage showbiz stories — in her autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes.

To battle multiple sclerosis, she established the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Diseases at the California Community Foundation in 1993.

Contributions to the California Community Foundation represent irrevocable gifts subject to the legal and fiduciary control of the foundation's board of directors.

Learn More About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from mild — numbness in the arms or legs — to severe, where those affected experience paralysis or loss of vision.

Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 but the unpredictable physical and emotional effects can be lifelong. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are giving hope to those affected by the disease.

Resource Library