Annette Funicello died as a result of complications from multiple sclerosis, from which she suffered for many years. Prior to her death in 2013, she opened the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Disorders in 1993.
Funicello achieved fame as one of Walt Disney's original "Mouseketeers" and parlayed that success into appearances in Disney films such as "The Shaggy Dog" and "Babes in Toyland." Funicello announced her condition of multiple sclerosis in 1992, after having been diagnosed in 1987. She started her namesake research fund the following year and spent her remaining years campaigning for awareness and treatment of her condition. She died on April 8, 2013, at the age of 70.