I've pledged to stick my head in a clear plastic box and let LIVE scorpions crawl around on top if we raise $5,000 in donations. If we reach $8,000, you can watch the full video of it happening on TeamSandy's Facebook page.
Yes - this is real! Courtesy of Fear Factor Live. Anyone that knows my completely justifiable and totally rational fear of spiders knows this is going to be better than any Facebook meme out there! You're welcome.
We walk for Sandy Trudeau
Sandy is my sister and I can't imagine life without her.
She's was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease at the onset about 12 years ago.
Back in her early 30’s, she had these unexplained pains, falls and memory glitches. Most thought she was just stressed out and tired. She baffled doctors as she tested negative for each condition or disease on the list. At the same time, her brother, Stephen, was getting closer to tracking their biological father whom they lost track of years before. They finally found him in a nursing home on the west coast diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. After seeing the effects of HD, Stephen called home with the news and Sandy was tested. We were all relieved to have finally found the cause, but nobody really knew what it was. I don't think anyone in our family will forget the day we learned about HD.
Sandy was married with two kids at this point and they had just bought a house. HD didn’t stop her though. While Cameron and Danielle were in school, she tried working mother’s hours to keep busy. She never let Huntington’s Disease slow her down until it physically slow her down. She still planned family vacations with her husband, found new ways to help daily tasks become more accessible and supported her children in all they did.
It became too much though. Stress always kicked her symptoms into high gear. On top of losing her confidence, drivers license and ability to work, even harder times made it impossible to cope. Her father passed away from the disease and then shortly after, Stephen suffered the same fate. She was quickly losing her independence and the ability to take care of herself.
We walk for Sandy's Family
It was really dark for a few years. There was a period when we weren’t sure how she was going to get through another day, let alone a year. Every holiday, we thought it was the last. Our entire family was torn down and almost defeated. Through perseverance, love, and hope, we pulled it together and are now stronger than ever.
Sandy is in the advanced stage of the disease where she requires complete support in daily activities and professional nursing care is needed.
Her mental fixations, confusion, and behavioral issues are similar to Alzheimer's
Her muscle weakness, swallowing and speech problems can be compared to ALS
Her involuntary movements, rigidity and muscle contractions are spot on for Parkinson's
Having just one of these diseases is horrible. Imagine having all three at the same time. Our parents, who are retired and in their 60's, have taken her in to fully care for her so that she can be with her family instead of an assisted living home for Huntington's patients. Everyone helps out when they can, but it's not enough. Most days and nights are harder than you can imagine, but we take it one day at a time; soak up the good days and brush off the bad ones.
We walk for Awareness
The support she receives from the state could be so much better if more people in position knew about the disease and knew how to effectively support patients and their families. Unfortunately, requests for help / equipment / funding are shuffled around, misunderstood and sometimes even lost. By the time a request has been approved, her disease has progressed to the next level, requiring different assistance.
This September, we walk to raise awareness in New Hampshire and show support for our HD families. If you cannot walk with us, please consider donating by clicking “Support Me” at the top of this page.