Teenage GLEE star CHRIS COLFER spent much of his young life taking care of his severely epileptic sister before heading off to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood.

In an exclusive ENQUIRER interview, Chris’ proud mom said he’s a "hero" for the sacrifices he’s made for his sister. "Chris was always instrumental in Hannah’s life – he still is," Karyn Colfer says.

Chris, 20, plays Beyonce-loving gay singer Kurt Hummel on the hit musical comedy. In real life, he was a three-time speech and debate champion at Clovis East High School in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

But he spent much of his time caring for his little sister.

"He was the center of her world, taking time with her to do whatever she wanted to do," says Karyn, 47.

"Chris was absolutely selfless when it came to his sister – he gave up a great deal of his social life for her."

now 14, was crushed .when Chris decided to strike out on his own, says Karyn. But a few days before he left, he bought Web cams so the two could teleconference through Skype when they started missing one another.

"Chris is a great brother. He’s a hero to Hannah."

Karyn told The ENQUIRER that Hannah, who can have as many as 50 seizures an hour, has not responded to several different courses of medication.

Hannah recently underwent operations to implant nerve stimulators, and her family is hoping the procedures will improve her condition.

Karyn adds: "You know, when Chris was growing up, people would actually ask him, ‘Are you going to become a doctor so you can find a cure for your sister?’

"And he would say, ‘I’m going to grow up and become a famous actor so I can pay someone ELSE tons of money to find a cure.’"

True to his word, Chris recently donated a large sum of money to the nonprofit group CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy).

If you’d like to donate to CURE, please send your check to CURE,
730 N. Franklin Street, Suite 404, Chicago, IL 60654. To make a gift by phone, call 1-800-765-7118. Or for more information, go to: