Julianne Moore at last year's Comedy for a Cure

Several years ago, when I was a new mom, I crossed paths briefly with this man whose little boy was clearly suffering from some sort of brain injury. The man asked, “Are you Julianne Moore?” and I stopped. His name was Tommy Lindsey, and he said he wanted to tell me his story.

By the time we were done talking, I was captivated by the story of this family’s struggle with a disease called tuberous sclerosis complex, or TSC. I was completely hooked—to the family and to the cause of TSC, which is a devastating genetic disease that causes tumors to form in many different organs. It’s the leading genetic cause of both autism and epilepsy.

I first got involved by attending a fundraiser. Over time, I supported the organization by providing congressional testimony, filming and voicing PSAs and going to other fundraising events such as Comedy for a Cure.

Sometimes people ask me, “Why support the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance?” First, TSC can happen to anyone. Second, TSC is a “lynchpin disease,” which means TSC research creates breakthroughs in how we treat cancer, epilepsy and even autism. But more important, I’m committed because of the families who work so tirelessly on behalf of their children. I have never met a more committed group of people who, by their own sheer will and tenacity, have forced the medical community to investigate this disease. The TS Alliance benefit Comedy for a Cure New York City takes place on May 5, at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St.; for tickets, visit comedyforacure.org

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