"She's on her toes dancing in Heaven … no more MS. My brothers and I were there, holding her sweet hands when she left us," Annette's daughter, Gina Gilardi.
(California)—Annette Funicello, one of the original "Mouseketeers" on the Mickey Mouse Club, died on Monday, April 8th, she was 70.
Annette had been battling Multiple Sclerosis since her diagnosis in 1992.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, told Fox News, "Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life."
Annette was the daughter of Italian Americans Virginia Jeanne and Joseph Funicello, according to the Wikipedia report. She and her family moved to Southern California when she was four, and she began her professional career as a child performer when she was 12.
Later, she established herself as a film actress, most notably starring with Frankie Avalon in the mid-‘60's.
Funicello reportedly had kept her disease a secret from the public for a while, but later announced she was suffering from MS, and—in 1993—opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation.
"My equilibrium is no more; it's just progressively getting worse," said Annette. "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."
Speaking about her faith, she added, "'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."
Annette's daughter Gina Gilardi said after her mother's death, "She's on her toes dancing in Heaven…no more MS. My brothers and I were there, holding her sweet hands when she left us."
Source: Sami K Martin – Christian Post
Life is coming full circle. Have fun, fun, fun and keep the Lord by your side.