Kaley Cuoco is having a renewed outlook on her charity work after welcoming her daughter, Matilda, with boyfriend Tom Pelphrey.
The Flight Attendant star sat down with ET’s Cassie DiLaura alongside Courteney Cox over the weekend at the star-studded Rock4EB! fundraiser at a private residence in Malibu, California, which benefits the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, the volunteer-only nonprofit funder of research for EB, a rare and life-threatening disease of the skin, as it seeks to find a cure. EB is characterized by blister formation after minor trauma to the skin and scarring and disfiguring of the skin and internal organs. Cuoco’s manager Andrea Pett-Joseph runs the annual Rock4EB! with her husband Paul and their 18-year-old son Brandon, who lives with the condition.
As Cuoco and Cox, whose longtime manager is Andrea’s sister, Cynthia Pett-Dante, tell it, supporting the cause has always been top of mind as they’re intimately connected to people who are affected by EB. “We have been a part of this for so many years because it touches us in a very intimate way,” Cox shared.
Added Cuoco, who announced the birth of her daughter on April 1: “Even though we had our baby, I had this on the calendar for so long. I’m like, ‘We are going to that. We are not missing that. It’s very close to our hearts and it was a huge turnout today, which is amazing.”
Brandi Carlile, Judd Apatow, Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey were among the performers at the event. “We’re here to lend our voices as long as we can and get rid of this horrendous thing for future kids,” the 37-year-old actress said.
But now that Cuoco is in the early days of motherhood, she got emotional when asked whether that adds more meaning to the charity and philanthropy work she does.
“Oh my gosh,” she said, getting visibly verklempt. “You know, I never thought I would be a mom. So I see these kids out there and I just can’t imagine if my kid was hurting all the time, you know? I felt this way before but obviously, you don’t know until you have one. So totally take it for granted so there’s not another that gets afflicted by this. We just have to do something.”
Cox spoke about her daughter, Coco, being the same age as Brandon and what she hopes to instill in her.
“I’m also glad she’s coming today because I think it’s important for people to see what other people have to go through and I’m glad she’s going to be here,” Cox said. “But she’s been here before. It’s just so nice to see these kids and they’re so happy to be here. And that’s the best part.”
Asked how Cuoco hopes to introduce giving back and paying it forward to her daughter, Matilda, the actress was humble in her response.
“Oh my god, just trying to be an example and keep doing the things that I’m doing now,” Cuoco said. “And like [Courteney] said, being out here and seeing these kids, we see a lot of them — most of them year after year — and I hope that Matilda knows that she’s very lucky and she’s healthy. I guess having a baby, when that happens and they’re healthy, you do take it for granted because you’re like, oh my gosh, I can’t imagine something being wrong with her. So my eyes are much more open than they were before and they were wide open before. It’s a very good thing.”
“Also you’re the most giving human being,” Cox praised Cuoco, who returned the favor, telling the Friends star, “And so are you.”
“You are such a giving, kind, sweet, soul,” Cox added. “That little kid is going to be a very, very lucky girl.”
The duo hopes that through Rock4EB! more people will learn about Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation and EB, and what they can do to help.
“To know about EB and to really research how they help [and] support,” Cox said of her biggest hopes through the annual fundraiser. “It does take money to have research. And they’re making so many strides but they need more and you need awareness and so many people don’t know about this rare disease.”
“Once you [learn about EB], there’s no way you forget and you want to be involved,” Cuoco said. “So once you get the word out and… please look at this one because you will want to come to this every year. You’ll want to donate and you’ll want to be a voice. You can’t turn your back on it. Once you see it and you’re a part of it, you’re in.”
You can learn more about epidermolysis bullosa and the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation at www.ebmrf.org.
Kaley Cuoco Talks ‘Exciting’ and ‘Insane’ First Months of Motherhood
Kaley Cuoco Wears Special Tribute to Her Daughter on the Red Carpet
Tom Pelphrey and Kaley Cuoco Have ‘First Date Night’ Since Baby