Annette Funicello died on April 8, 2013 due to complications from multiple sclerosis. She had previously announced her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis in 1992 and became an advocate for awareness and treatment of the disease.
Funicello discussed her disease publicly after rumors began circulating that her health issues were a result of alcoholism. In 1993, she founded the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders to better research and treat multiple sclerosis. Funicello's condition worsened in 2004, when she lost in the ability to walk, and in 2009 she lost the ability to speak. She was survived by her second husband, Glen Holt, and her three children by her first husband, Jack Gilardi.