Actress Gillian Anderson recently opened up about her life in an interview with Us Weekly, including the tragic death of her younger brother.
Among a list of 25 things that most people do not know about the 46-year-old actress, Gillian used three of the facts to discuss her brother’s death along with the health condition that caused it.
“I had a brother named Aaron who died of a brain tumor three years ago at age 30.”
According to his obituary, Aaron Anderson died on Thursday, September 22, 2011, after a three-year battle with brain cancer.
However, Gillian explains in another one of her 25 facts that her brother’s tumor may have been related to a condition that he was officially diagnosed with as a 3-year-old child.
“My brother’s tumor was likely connected to a disease he has from birth called neurofibromatosis.”
In lieu of flowers for Aaron’s private memorial service, Gillian Anderson’s family asked for donations to be made to the Neurofibromatosis Network charity, a charitable organization that Gillian confirms she is still a patron of today.
Gillian Anderson home w/ family for Thanksgiving & at the opening of the monument for her brother Aaron and I just pic.twitter.com/nEZH4HRUTk
— ❤️Live.Laugh.Love❤️ (@LaurenK611) November 26, 2014
Gillian Anderson spoke further about her brother’s condition and her memories of how he dealt with it as a child in a past interview with Global Genes.
Anderson stated in the interview that her brother’s condition was “always a part of his reality,” which is why he did not allow it to stop him from living his life and fulfilling his dreams.
“He just never knew any different… It may be why he developed an early interest in prejudice of all kinds. He cared deeply about racial equality and fairness in general. But he went on to get an undergraduate degree at U of M and was working on a PHD at Stanford when he died of a [Neurofibromatosis] related brain tumor. He travelled, he DJ’d and break danced. I think he led a pretty full life.”
Gillian also spoke with Global Genes about her involvement in pushing Congress to develop awareness programs for that medical condition throughout the United States. The former X-Files actress explained that the goal was to educate Congress about the condition and encourage representatives to sign a letter requesting federal funds that could be used for research.
“It was nerve racking and empowering.”
In addition to discussing her brother’s health condition, Gillian also highlighted one of her own health problems within the list of 25 facts for Us Weekly.
“For the past two years, I have had a frozen shoulder and can’t move my left arm beyond 90 degrees to the side.”
Gillian Anderson was also able to share quite a few facts that were lighthearted and interesting, including some of her likes and dislikes.
[Image Credit: Global Genes & NBC News]