Los Angeles: Longtime friend and fan of Ben Affleck, Joe Kindregan, has died at the age of 27 following a battle with a rare neurological disease.
Kindregan suffered from ataxia-telangiectasia, or A-T, a genetic, degenerative multi-system disease which causes severe disability.
Most children with A-T are confined to a wheelchair by the age of 10 and do not survive their teens, reported Access Hollywood.
Affleck first met a then-10-year-old Kindregan on the set of the actor's film, "Forces of Nature", in 1998. Affleck noticed Kindegran as he was watching them film on location, and invited him over to chat.
As part of the Make-A-Wish programme, Kindregan attended the Hollywood premiere of "Forces of Nature", and the two have kept in constant contact ever since.
Since striking up the friendship, Affleck has been an outspoken supporter of A-T research and fundraising, and he even testified with Kindregan before a US House Appropriations Subcommittee in 2001, when the actor called on politicians to support stem-cell research and double the budget of the National Institutes of Health.