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Teen Internet Star Uses Fame to Help Sick Cousin

Teen launches #HopeForHolt campaign to raise funds for cousin's rare disease

If you'd never heard the name Nash Grier before today, you're not alone. (We admit to having to do a little Google research ourselves.)

But as it turns out, the 16-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, is all sorts of famous with the kids these days, thanks to his talent for making funny Vine videos and filming his YouTube pranks. So famous is he, that once when he was in Iceland, his whereabouts at a local mall were announced on Twitter, and thousands of girls instantly flocked there to see him. The local mayor even said it was worse than when the Beatles came 30 years ago.

Yeah, he's that kind of famous.

But now, instead of pouring water over the heads of his sleeping friends or posting Vines while singing in the car with his sister, the Internet superstar is using is fame to do some real good. In his latest video, Grier is spreading awareness about cystinosis, a rare genetic disorder that has affected his family since his cousin Holt was diagnosed with it seven years ago.

Cystinosis is a slow-moving but debilitating disease, involving a build-up of amino acids in the body that eventually wreaks havoc on vital organs. With #HopeForHolt, the campaign Grier and his family started seven years ago, they hope to raise money for research through fundraising, local events and pure word of mouth.

"Every dollar counts, and it really does help," Grier reminds us in the video. "A couple years ago, Holt had to take his medicine every six hours. He never got a full night's sleep. And now, with research, they've developed a 12-hour serum, so now he can sleep through the full night. He's never done that in his entire life."

Want to help make a difference? You can donate to #HopeForHolt on Grier's official campaign site, PersonalFamTour.com.

Photo via YouTube

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