Gerard Butler forges special bond with Swiss footballer's cancer child
Category: Misc./General Career News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: November 25, 2012 | Publication: Scottish Daily Record | Author: Toby McDonald
Publication/Article Link:Scottish Daily Record
THE movie star has become Uncle Gerry to Oliver Wyss' daughter Abella, who suffers from a rare blood disorder.
GERARD BUTLER has forged a touching relationship with a schoolgirl stricken with cancer.
The 300 star has become “Uncle Gerry” to Abella Wyss, who has had surgery 11 times since her birth because of a rare genetic blood disorder.
The Paisley-born actor met the 10-year-old through his friendship with her parents, former Swiss footballer Oliver Wyss and his wife Jamie.
Gerard has even given her a speaking part in his latest film, Playing For Keeps, which also stars Jessica Biel.
And when Abella recovered from invasive surgery to remove tumours from both lungs earlier this month, the actor was among the first visitors to the New York hospital where she had the operation
Gerard said: “She is the most optimistic little girl in the world and incredibly brave.
“Oliver and Jamie are like their daughter, two of the most incredible people.”
Gerard has also lent his support to the family’s charity foundation Soccer For Hope.
It was set up by Oliver, 38, who was a youth international for Switzerland before becoming a player and coach for LA Galaxy.
He was diagnosed with cancer and recovered but the family were hit by a second blow in 2005 when their then 10-month-old son Hudson was also diagnosed.
He eventually lost a three-year battle for life.
Then Abella started to show signs of the disease and had to have chemotherapy after she was found to carry the same gene as her dad and brother.
Oliver, who was technical adviser on football movie Playing For Keeps, said: “We enjoy every day with her because we don’t know how much time remains.
“Gerard’s dedication to looking after our daughter is quite selfless and his commitment to her is exceptional.”
Oliver, who originally met Celtic fan Butler through their shared loved of the game, added: “My own cancer opened my eyes to how important the need for giving back is.
“You think about what Abella’s gone through and she still has a positive attitude and wants to give back. Her character and outlook on life are simply amazing.”
Abella will make her Hollywood screen debut on Wednesday at a charity movie showing on behalf of Soccer For Hope. Her mum Jamie, 35, said: “It is tough to see what Abella goes through and then see all the other children at the hospital.
“She loves to laugh and be joyful. Her one wish is for ‘all the children to be able to leave hospital’.”
Oliver had moved to Los Angeles to play in the West Coast soccer league when he was diagnosed with the blood disorder 15 years ago at 23.
After a bone marrow transplant, he recovered and decided to establish the Soccer For Hope charity to give something back.