Belfast Telegraph

Nikki Reed: My brother's an inspiration

Nikki Reed has spoken out about why the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction is so personal for her.

The Twilight actress is a spokesperson for the Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction, which benefits the Autism Speaks organisation.

It's a very personal cause for the star, as her younger brother Joey grew up with the developmental disorder.

"He inspires me on a daily basis," the 26-year-old smiled to People magazine. "He wants people to learn about autism and to know that not all autistic people are the same.

"He's just a kid. A really, really rad kid."

Nikki wants people to realise how diverse autism is and that everyone needs to be treated as an individual.

Her brother was diagnosed at two years old, and often it's not even possible to tell he is autistic. Nikki adds he's discovered running as his passion and now does around 12 miles every day.

"[He] is so high functioning that in many cases, it's not even detectable," she clarified. "He's one of the most loving, honest, sensitive and transparent kids I've ever known. And he's insanely smart. With a really remarkable memory."

According to his sister, Joey shuns labels and wants people to realise he's an individual.

Nikki is helping chocolatier Lindt sell porcelain versions of its famous Easter bunnies. To add a star twist, they've been signed by the likes of Blake Lively, Harrison Ford and Owen Wilson.

She's also produced and directed a short film about basketball player Jason McElwain, who has autism.

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