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"When the stories about my MS came out, everyone gave me their love and their prayers. I'm human, and sometimes I can't help but ask,'Why Me?' But I believe everything happens for a reason, and I know now that my mission is to help others raise funds for MS. The more I read about MS, the more encouraged I am. When I wake up in the morning, I like to imagine, this is the day I'm going to hear about an MS cure on the news."

In 2002, Annette accepted the role of Ambassador for the Society's MS Walk. She encouraged fans to form "Annie's Angels" MS Walk teams in her honor to help educate the public and heighten awareness about the problems and challenges of MS.

Personal Connections to MS

Annette Funicello

Annette Funicello started her career on the Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club, where she was its most popular Mouseketeer between l955 and l959. As Annette and the nation's baby boomers grew up together, she had a string of film hits such as the Disney classic The Shaggy Dog and the Beach Party movie series, before going into semi-retirement to raise her three children.

Annette first noticed her MS symptoms in l987 when she was making the movie Back to the Beach, a friendly spoof of her early sand-and-surf films that received both public and critical acclaim. In l989, Annette did a year-long concert tour to cheering crowds with Frankie Avalon, her long time friend and movie co-star. Annette resides in California with her second husband Glen Holt, a race horse breeder.

In l992, when rumors and gossip began to surface in the press after Annette's MS symptoms became increasingly pronounced, she decided to go public with her condition.

Although Annette has been forced by the effects of this devastating disease to retire from her stage and screen career, her indomitable spirit led her to found the popular Annette Funicello Collectible Bear Company, which is celebrating more than ten years in business. Annette's life story was both celebrated in a made-for TV movie, which was aired on Lifetime Television, and in her book, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Hyperion, 1995).



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Personal Connnections to MS
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Last updated January 18, 2006