Jared Padalecki is using his platform to give back to someone he considered “family.”
Padalecki, 39, launched a GoFundMe campaign this week to support the loved ones of his late Supernatural “family member” Holli DeWees, who died from breast cancer earlier this month.
“As some of you may have seen, one of our own #SPNFamily members has recently passed away from a brave battle with cancer,” he wrote on the campaign’s page Monday. “Holli Dewees was not only family, but a longtime volunteer with Random Acts. She worked to make so many lives better, and now we have an opportunity to take up her mantle and provide some help to the most important people in her life — her kids.”
DeWees is survived by her husband, Mike DeWees, and their two children.
“All funds raised here will go directly to her husband and kids,” the actor continued. “Thank y’all so much for helping her family make it through this incredibly difficult time. With love and gratitude.”
Padalecki also spoke about the campaign on Twitter Monday.
“Earlier this month we lost a member of the #SPNFamily, @hollidewees, to breast cancer. Holli leaves two small children who need our help right now,” he wrote. “If you have the means to join us in helping them, please do and if not, please consider leaving words of support for her family on this page.”
He further noted that he “will be zooming one of the donors for a chat” as well.
So far, the campaign has received more than $23,000 in donations.
“Thank y’all for all the support you’ve given this family so far,” he wrote as an update on the GoFundMe page. “Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that GoFundMe cannot take donations that are intended to be used for a raffle. But I’d still love to talk to one of y’all.”
“So regardless of donating or not, if you’d like to throw your name in for a chat you can continue to do so,” he added.
Padalecki additionally requested for people to “please continue to support Holli’s family if you would like to, but a donation through GoFundMe is not required for a chance to win a chat.”
DeWees announced on Instagram in September 2020 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It has spread to my lymph nodes,” she wrote in a note. “It’s triple negative, which makes it very aggressive. My doctors really do not want to use radiation due to my autoimmune issues. I’m at least stage 3, and right now we’re trying to determine if it’s spread beyond that. If my other health issues have been masking anything. If it has spread, it will be stage 4.”
DeWees added: “I hope if any of you are going through something you feel less alone reading this.”
DeWees posted her first “no hair” photo amid her journey with chemotherapy last November. Then, she shared two side-by-side Polaroids of her hair before and after chemotherapy, writing: “It’s been a hell of a year.”
Her final Instagram post was published in May, and it showed that her “hair is starting to come back” after she had recently restarted radiation.