A mother broke down on Monday’s “This Morning” as she recalled the moment Kate Winslet saved her life after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Gemma Nuttall, now 29, was first diagnosed with an aggressive form of ovarian cancer while carrying her first child Penelope, who is now three years old. She spoke to hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about then being told doctors had discovered a lump at the back of her head, which later turned out to be brain cancer.
Eight more tumours were then found around her head before doctors told Nuttall, who was 25 at the time, that they couldn’t do anything else for her and she was given six months to live.
However, last July, Kate Winslet, 42, came across Nuttall’s Go Fund Me page and asked her friend Leonardo DiCaprio, 43, for help. The pair ended up auctioning off three “Jack and Rose” nights, named after their “Titanic” characters, and the donations meant Gemma could receive the help she needed.
Winslet surprised Nuttall, who appeared on “This Morning” alongside her mom, on the phone Monday, with her calling in to the show to explain why the story had really hit home for her.
The actress explained, “I can tell you exactly what happened. I lost my own mother last year in May to ovarian cancer and at the time that we as a family were given a very poor prognosis for my mum after a four-year battle.
“We decided to look elsewhere and we also stumbled across these places in Germany and simultaneously I also came across this petition that had been set up on Change.org, campaigning to have immunotherapy available on the NHS.”
It was then that Winslet also came across Nuttall’s fundraising page and she added “my heart sank” when she realized the family had only managed to raise $15,000. She continued, “I thought, I can’t have this happen.”
Winslet added that she thought her own mom, who was “very, very unwell” at the time, would be “incredibly proud” of her if she was able to save another mom’s life. She and DiCaprio eventually managed to raise around $1.3 million.
Speaking directly to Nuttall, the star, who received an Actors Inspiration Award from the Screen Actors’ Guild in November, partly due to helping the youngster, added: “I could not be more thrilled and honoured to find you and your mom. And it actually worked. That’s the real headline here. Things can be done when there’s a devastating prognosis. There are miracles out there and this is one of them.”
See more from the interview in the clip above.