Check out this article in the Times!
Read this 2-part piece in the PCT Trailside Reader about my Hike!
Check out the latest publicity about Jason's trek! http://kpic.com/news/local/roseburg-man-to-hike-continental-divide-trail-for-huntingtons-disease-awareness
May 2016 I embark on a solo thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail – more than 3000 miles – wending through the deserts of Southern New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park and so much more. This epic trek is to raise funds and awareness for those affected by Huntington’s disease (HD). John Muir was a self-proscribed “lover of the range of light.” I like to think I hike for the important places each of our shadows hold. I hope you will join me in the ongoing journey, to ensure my generation is the last to succumb to HD.
In 2014, with the support of my family, HDSA, and a number of sponsors, I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, 2,669 miles, to raise funds to further education and support research toward effective treatments and a cure (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s5WNWUZuRYk). I raised over $20,000 during this adventure.
My family's HD journey began many years ago. When I was in my twenties, my mom Catherine admitted she no longer felt confident playing the piano or guitar. She wasn’t as quick in conversation as she had always been. Too often when speaking casually, others finished her thoughts. Everyone remembers her as an artistic force in the family. Whether playing guitar by the campfire, or piano while singing show-tunes in the living room, music was a big part of our lives.
These aspects of our family experience began to dim before I left for college. Today mom is in some ways a shadow of the vibrant, talented, woman and teacher that she was. I would give anything for our thoughtful and creative boys, Rowan (10) and Aidan (12) to have known her as I did when I was young.
For almost as long as I can remember, everyone knew something was going on with grandpa; but it wasn’t until a decade ago that he and my mom were simultaneously diagnosed. Known as Hank to his friends, grandpa died in 2014, having suffered complications for many years. In his prime he was an accomplished tinkerer and master craftsman. Picnicking and camping with his daughters and grandchildren were among his greatest passions.
To the uninitiated, Huntington’s is an inherited disease causing progressive degeneration of nerve cells, akin to ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – with a wide spectrum of similarly associated physical, psychological and emotional challenges.
Originally from Oregon, I had the treasured opportunity to live abroad when my folks took teaching positions in England, Norway and Malaysia. I studied English literature and philosophy at Hiram College in Ohio, and philosophy at New York City’s New School, before returning to the Pacific Northwest, where my wife Nikki and I knew we wanted to raise our family.
Knowing successive generations have a fifty percent chance of carrying the mutated gene, I elected to be tested; and as a carrier, know the boys have a fifty percent chance too. Now 39, I often wonder when I lose my train of thought, misplace something, feel down, or misstep, if it isn’t the beginning of diminished affect and the mask.
The great outdoors is where I have always felt closest to that so much greater than ourselves, and I’ve trekked many miles through some of the most beautiful places in the world. I hope you will join me on my epic journey by supporting my efforts to raise funds and awareness for the devastating HD. Please donate to my site. Thank you for your support.
All are welcome to friend and follow me on Facebook. You can learn more about HD and HDSA at www.hdsa.org.
We also have sponsorship opportunities available here.
Jason, Nikki, Aidan & Rowan Evans
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