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Thread: Annette Funicello has died at age 70.

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    Distinguished Community Member Abby2006's Avatar
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    Default Annette Funicello has died at age 70.

    http://m.usatoday.com/article/life/2063545

    Annette Funicello on Oct. 20, 1990 in Washington.

    by Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY

    Updated: 04/08/2013 01:26pm




    Disney's official fan club has just broken the news on Twitter:

    Annette Funicello has died at age 70.

    The actress, singer and beloved Mousketeer had been hospitalized due to complications from multiple sclerosis, according to Extra.

    The Disney Fan Club says Funicello died today at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif.

    Her family confirmed to Extra that Funicello died from complications of multiple sclerosis. They were by her side when she was taken off life support. Funicello had been in an MS coma for years, reports the site.

    Funicello was 12 when she became a Mouseketeer. As a teen, she was launched on a successful singing and acting career, but she really gained popularity when she co-starred with Frankie Avalon in a series of "Beach Party" movies in the mid-1960s.

    In 1992, Annette announced she had MS.

    Funicello was married to her first husband, Jack Gilardi, from 1965 until 1981, and had three children. In 1986, she married California harness racing horse breeder/trainer Glen Holt.
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    Its a shame to see her go........... and I might comment that she died from complications NOT due to MS.

    Thanks for posting Abs

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    Distinguished Community Member Abby2006's Avatar
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    ......Annette Funicello, Mouseketeer and film star, dies
    By FRAZIER MOORE | Associated Press 30 mins ago....Email 0Share 0Tweet0Share0Print......
    View Gallery.Actress Annette Funicello dies

    .....NEW YORK (AP) Annette Funicello, who became a child star as a perky, cute-as-a-button Mouseketeer on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the 1950s, then teamed up with Frankie Avalon on a string of '60s fun-in-the-sun movies with names like "Beach Blanket Bingo" and "Bikini Beach," died Monday. She was 70.

    She died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., of complications from multiple sclerosis, the Walt Disney Co. said.

    Funicello stunned fans and friends in 1992 with the announcement about her ailment. Yet she was cheerful and upbeat, grappling with the disease with a courage that contrasted with her lightweight teen image of old.

    "She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney's brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent," said Bob Iger, Disney chairman and CEO.

    Avalon said Monday that Funicello never realized how beloved she was.

    "She would say, 'Really?'" he told The Associated Press. "She was so bashful about it. She was an amazing girl." He added: "She really had a tough existence. It's like losing a family member. I'm devastated, but I'm not surprised."

    The pretty, dark-haired Funicello was just 13 when she gained fame on Walt Disney's television kiddie "club," an amalgam of stories, songs and dance routines that ran from 1955 to 1959.

    Cast after Disney saw her at a dance recital, she appeared in mouse ears, a pleated skirt and a turtleneck sweater emblazoned with her first name. She soon became the most popular Mouseketeer in the cast, receiving 8,000 fan letters a month, 10 times more than any of the 23 other young performers.

    Her devotion to Walt Disney remained throughout her life.

    "He was the dearest, kindest person, and truly was like a second father to me," she remarked. "He was a kid at heart."

    When "The Mickey Mouse Club" ended, Annette (as she was often billed) was the only club member to remain under contract to the studio. She appeared in such Disney movies as "Johnny Tremain," ''The Shaggy Dog," ''The Horsemasters," ''Babes in Toyland," ''The Misadventures of Merlin Jones" and "The Monkey's Uncle."

    She also became a recording star, singing on 15 albums and hit singles such as "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess."

    Outgrowing the kid roles by the early '60s, Annette teamed with Avalon in a series of movies for American-International, the first film company to exploit the burgeoning teen market.

    The filmmakers weren't aiming for art, and they didn't achieve it. As Halliwell's Film Guide says of "Beach Party": "Quite tolerable in itself, it started an excruciating trend."

    But the films had songs, cameos by older stars and a few laughs and, as a bonus to latter-day viewers, a look back at a more innocent time. The 1965 "Beach Blanket Bingo," for example, featured subplots involving a mermaid, a motorcycle gang and a skydiving school run by Don Rickles, and comic touches by silent film star Buster Keaton.

    Among the other titles: "Muscle Beach Party," ''Bikini Beach," ''How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" and "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine."

    The beach films featured ample youthful skin. But not Funicello's.

    She remembered in 1987: "Mr. Disney said to me one day, 'Annette, I have a favor to ask of you. I know all the girls are wearing bikinis, but you have an image to uphold. I would appreciate it if you would wear a one-piece suit.' I did, and I never regretted it."

    The shift in teen tastes begun by the Beatles in 1964 and Funicello's first marriage the following year pretty much killed off the beach-movie genre.

    But she was somehow never forgotten though mostly out of the public eye for years. She and Avalon staged a reunion in 1987 with "Back to the Beach." It was during the filming that she noticed she had trouble walking the first insidious sign of MS.

    When it was finally diagnosed, she later recalled, "I knew nothing about (MS), and you are always afraid of the unknown. I plowed into books."

    Her symptoms were relatively mild at first, but gradually she lost control of her legs, and she feared people might think she was drunk. So she went public with her ordeal in 1992.

    She wrote of her triumphs and struggles in her 1994 autobiography, "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" the title taken from a Disney song. In 1995, she appeared briefly in a television docudrama based on her book. And she spoke openly about the degenerative effects of MS.

    "My equilibrium is no more; it's just progressively getting worse," she said. "But I thank God I just didn't wake up one morning and not be able to walk. You learn to live with it. You learn to live with anything, you really do."

    "I've always been religious. This just makes me appreciate the Lord even more because things could always be worse. I know he will see me through this."

    Funicello was born Oct. 22, 1942, in Utica, N.Y., and her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 4. She began taking dance lessons the following year and won a beauty contest at 9. Then came the discovery by Disney in 1955.

    "I have been blessed to have a mentor like Walt Disney," she said 40 years later. "Those years were the happiest of my life. I felt that back then. I feel the same today."

    Asked about the revisionist biographies that have portrayed Disney in a negative light, she said, "I don't know what went on in the conference rooms. I know what I saw. And he was wonderful."

    In 1965, Funicello married her agent, Jack Gilardi, and they had three children, Gina, Jack and Jason. The couple divorced 18 years later, and in 1986 she married Glen Holt, a harness racehorse trainer. After her film career ended, she devoted herself to her family. Her children sometimes appeared on the TV commercials she made for peanut butter.

    ___http://news.yahoo.com/annette-funicello-mouseketeer-film-star-dies-172321939.html
    Stand for something or you will fall for anything

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    So Sad!!! MiC C you real soon... KeY Y, because we loved you. ...MoUsE....
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    So sad. Her suffering is over now but it's sad. Losing anyone to MS is sad.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Hugs to All))))))

    Being of the generation, who grew up watching the Mouseketeers and admiring Annette, I am saddened by her passing. Until today, I wasn't aware of how severely MS was affecting her.

    In searching the internet for tributes to her today, I found a news piece on CTV, "Annette's Story." This originally aired in October 2012. Her devoted husband, Glen, and her best friend, Shelley Fabares, spoke about Annette's courageous battle and her determination to help others with MS. Her doctors are interviewed as well. Glen is shown providing care to his "Baby," with the help of assistants at their ranch home. Every day, Glen and his assistant took Annette for a ride in the van. Glen is 81. His love for her is profoundly poignant.

    The procedure to open the jugular vein was also discussed. Annette had this procedure, and she did show improvements.

    Glen and others repeatedly emphasized that they had allowed this glimpse into Annette's life to help others with MS, by encouraging research and funding for viable, effective treatments and a cure.

    For all of you, I pray that Annette's Story will result in greater awareness and understanding of MS, as well as an aggressive approach by the scientific and medical community to identify the cause(s), safest and most effective treatments, and a cure.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Distinguished Community Member nuthatch's Avatar
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    So sad that the world is no longer graced with her presence, but relieved that she no longer suffers the frustration of being locked in her MS ravaged body.
    I woke up this morning with a thought that I can't really put into words . . . kinda like something special had ended at the very moment that something special and new was beginning.
    I tried to explain this feeling to my husband. This was hours before I learned that Annette had passed and started her new beginning.

    Last year I watched the news piece "Annette's Story" also, and was so impressed with both Annette's strength and her husband's strength, love and devotion to this amazing, kind woman. Glen's love showed through so profoundly in the way he so lovingly cared for her and spoke to her, even though she could not express herself as I'm sure she would have liked. My wish is that every person who faces challenges, has a loving, supportive person like Glen in their lives. She will be missed.

    Here's a video of an interview of Annette taken in 1994.
    http://www.myspace.com/video/nbc-tod...h-ms/109269775

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    Default Cause of death?

    What is the difference whether one dies of complications of MS or of MS? I don't see that there is any difference and if another cause is written on her death certificate (such as pneumonia) then she will not be counted among the numbers who have died of MS.....JMHO and personal experience as my Mother had Alzheimers but died of pneumonia directly a complication of having Alzheimers. Those details skew the true cause of death for a lot of orphan diseases.

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    Gabriella
    Progressive/Relapsing MS, Myasthenia Gravis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    The "cause of death" that is usually listed on death certificates is the primary cause, and secondary causes are often listed as well. But because MS lesions aren't directly responsible for the death of most people with MS, MS doesn't often get listed, even though it may have been MS that gave us cardiac weakness that led our hearts to fail, or that made us vulnerable to an infection that killed us.

    This abstract of a study might shed some light. Please note that the results it's based on are from 1985. The life expectancy of people with MS is longer now.

    J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2008 Sep;79(9):1016-21. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2007.127332.

    Survival and cause of death in multiple sclerosis: a prospective population-based study.
    Hirst C, Swingler R, Compston DA, Ben-Shlomo Y, Robertson NP.
    Source

    Helen Durham Neuro-inflammatory Centre, Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF144XN, UK.

    BACKGROUND:

    Detailed studies of mortality in multiple sclerosis (MS) are limited. Studying death certificates in a prospective cohort of patients known to have MS is of value in establishing mortality data and can also provide important information on the accuracy and use of death certificates for epidemiological studies.

    METHODS:


    A population-based survey performed in South Wales in 1985 identified 441 patients. Cases were flagged with the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and death certificates collected prospectively for more than 20 years.

    RESULTS:


    Median observed survival time was 38.0 years from symptom onset. Mean age at death was 65.3 for women and 65.2 years for men. Mean age at death in patients dying from MS-related causes was 62.5 and 69.3 years (p<0.001) for unrelated deaths. Those dying of MS-related causes had a younger age at disease onset (32.5) compared with those dying of unrelated causes (36.8 years) (p = 0.01). Cause of death was related to MS in 57.9% and unrelated in 42.1% of individuals. In 27% of patients, "MS" was absent from the death certificate. The most common cause of death was respiratory disease (47.5%). The standardised mortality ratio was 2.79 (95% CI 2.44 to 3.18) so that MS patients were almost three times more likely to die prematurely relative to the general population.

    CONCLUSIONS:


    These results confirm a continuing trend of premature death in patients with MS. Relying on data derived from death certificates will underestimate disease prevalence. Differences were identified between those dying from MS-related causes and those dying from other causes.



    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18303108
    Last edited by agate; 04-09-2013 at 10:48 AM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    --And there's this, presented at the annual AAN conference in San Diego, March 16-23, 2013:

    [S30.007] Subcategory Analysis of Causes of Death in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis from a Large US Insurance Database

    Michael Corwin, Waltham, MA, Shoshana Reshef, Montville, NJ, Howard Golub, Waltham, MA, Gary Cutter, Birmingham, AL, David Kaufman, Boston, MA, Dirk Pleimes, Pine Brook, NJ, Douglas Goodin, San Francisco, CA

    OBJECTIVE:

    To analyze subcategories within disease categories to gain more insight into pathways more directly leading to death in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

    BACKGROUND:

    Information on causes of death (CODs) for patients with MS is sparse and hampered by inherent limitations in standard categorization on death certificates of underlying and immediate CODs. Prior research comparing patients with MS and non-MS matched comparators in a US health plan database (OptumInsight Research [OIR]) using an algorithm designed to assess causes leading to death (CLD), indicated that excess mortality rates (MR) among patients with MS were largely due to higher MR from infectious, cardiovascular, or pulmonary causes.

    DESIGN/METHODS:

    Patients with MS enrolled in OIR (1996-2009) were matched to non-MS comparators on age/residence at index year and sex. CLDs were determined using an algorithm that reduced the rate at which MS or cardiac/pulmonary arrest were selected as the COD. CLDs were categorized into MS, cancer, cardiovascular, infectious, suicide, accidental, pulmonary, other, or unknown. Infectious, cardiovascular, and pulmonary CODs were further subcategorized.

    RESULTS:

    31,051 patients with MS were matched to 92,511 controls, with MR of 899 and 446 deaths/100,000 person-years, respectively.

    90.6% of the excess mortality related to infectious CODs was attributable to pulmonary infections (41 of 95 [43.2%] excess deaths per 100,000 person-years) or sepsis (45 of 95 [47.4%] excess deaths per 100,000 person-years).

    58.7% of the difference in MR attributable to pulmonary CODs was due to aspiration (27 of 46 excess deaths per 100,000 person-years).

    No single diagnostic entity predominated for the 60 deaths per 100,000 person-years excess mortality attributable to cardiac CODs.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Fatal pulmonary infections, sepsis, and aspiration occurred more frequently in patients with MS than non-MS comparators. Increased awareness of the potential for death due to these causes may improve care for patients with MS.

    __________________________

    Supported by:

    Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals.

    Category - MS and Related Diseases: Clinical Science


    Session S30: Multiple Sclerosis: Treatment Safety
    Last edited by agate; 04-09-2013 at 11:16 AM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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