What is Scleroderma? Bob Saget raised awareness following sister's death

As fans mourn the loss of comedian Bob Saget, the "Full House" star is also being remembered for garnering awareness for Scleroderma, a disease that his sister reportedly died from. 

In 1994, Saget’s sister Gay died of the rare autoimmune disease. 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 08: Bob Saget attends the red carpet premiere & party for Peacock's new comedy series "MacGruber" at California Science Center on December 08, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmM

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder and a rheumatic disease that causes inflammation in the skin and other areas of the body, according to the SRF.

Serious complications of the disease can result in damage to the heart, lungs and digestive system.

While it is rare, there are approximately 300,000 Americans who have scleroderma. Roughly 80% of people with the disease are women, but men and children can still contract it.

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Saget’s sister was diagnosed with the disease when she was 44, just two years before she died. 

"My sister, Gay Saget, was a school teacher near Philadelphia. She was 44 when she was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma," Saget told NIH Medline Plus Magazine in 2019. 

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 17: Bob Saget speaks onstage during the Cool Comedy-Hot Cuisine Virtual Event on October 17, 2021 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for the Scleroderma Research Foundation)

 "She got treatment, but it was just treating her symptoms with drugs like prednisone and cortisone. She had to move to Los Angeles to live with my parents because she needed so much help. She passed away just two years later."

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Saget was found dead on Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes hotel in Orlando on Sunday. The medical examiner will determine his cause of death, which will reportedly take weeks. 

A tribute for the late comedian was paid on the website for the Scleroderma Research Foundation. 

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