Kenneth Mitchell
Kenneth Mitchell has died at 49 years old after a five-year battle with ALS.

A wave of support has washed over the family of Kenneth Mitchell, following his recent passing. Fans and well-wishers have come together, raising over $50,000 (£39475.50) to help ease the burden of "astronomical" medical bills and debt left behind.

Mitchell, known for roles in "Star Trek: Discovery" and "Captain Marvel", passed away on Friday, February 24 his family announced in a statement shared on his verified Instagram account on Sunday.

"With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Kenneth Alexander Mitchell, beloved father, husband, brother, uncle, son and dear friend," the family's statement read. According to the same post, the 49-year-old actor had been bravely battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for the past 5 years.

Mitchell, who received his ALS diagnosis in 2018, did not shy away from openly sharing updates about his health journey and showcasing his ongoing fight against the disease in recent years. The actor marked the fifth anniversary of his diagnosis in an Instagram post back in August.

Mitchell's brother made a humorous observation, noting that a "happy ALS Anniversary" card was not available in the shop. At the time, Mitchell wrote that he wanted to celebrate the day, recognising it as a gift of life.

Mitchell, who voiced multiple characters in an episode of "Star Trek: Lower Decks," expressed deep gratitude for having the current day available to him. He reflected on the past five years and acknowledged both the losses and the gains he had experienced.

"At the heart of it all are friends and family, caregivers and doctors coming to the aid of my family over and over and over again. Giving a plethora of support and love and care and encouragement. There is so much beauty in that. This disease is absolutely horrific...yet despite all the suffering, there is so much to be grateful for," he wrote.

Outpouring of love: Friends help ease the financial burden

While Mitchell bravely confronted the challenges of ALS, his passing leaves a void for his loved ones. In the wake of Mitchell's passing, a heartwarming gesture of support has emerged as his friends have stepped forward to help his wife Susan and their children, Lilah and Kallum, navigate the huge financial burdens left behind.

The GoFundMe page, titled "For Ken's Family - Susan and Kids (Lilah & Kallum)," was created 7 days ago and had raised over $57,760 (£45,602.10), more than 50 per cent of the $100,000 (£78,951.00) goal, at the time of writing. There are 251 donations, including a top donation of $10,000 (£7,895.10).

While Mitchell's case is a powerful example, this is not the first time we have seen such an outpouring of generosity. Last year, Sandra Bullock's long-time partner Bryan Randall's death led to a spike of 500 per cent in ALS donations.

Moreover, Elon Musk has stated that his neurotechnology company, Neuralink could potentially play a key role in treating "a variety of neurological conditions," including ALS.

Notably, the Musk-led company is conducting a study called PRIME (Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface) that will focus on patients suffering from paralysis caused by cervical spinal cord injuries, or ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).