Ashley Harris

Team Captain Chafing Your Dreams Birmingham, AL Team Hope Walk

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Our story is unique and heartbreaking, which is exactly why we're doing all that we can to support this cause. It started when our father James Harris was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease. He had served 22 years in the Marine Corp from where he retired due to HD. This changed the course of our lives. We saw the neurological disease take over our father's body like no children should have to witness. It first caused unusual things and then turned to outbursts of anger and violence due to the brain being overcome by this horrific disease. Our mother had to make the best decision in a hard circumstance by putting him in a VA nursing home. Unfortunately, the closest one was in Tuscaloosa a couple of hours away. We weren't able to visit him as often as we would've liked. He eventually passed on October 21, 2011, due to Huntington's Disease.

Having gone through this, our family only became stronger. We decided we would FIGHT for a cure. You see, every child has a 50/50 shot at having this horrific disease. It was terrible enough to see our father be overcome by this disease, we certainly don't want to watch one of our siblings go through the same as well.

Fast forward to the exact date six years later on October 21, 2017, and our oldest brother Adam Harris was involved in a car accident. October 24, 2017, he was taken Home after becoming brain dead from the car accident. He donated his organs which in turn helped a lot of people, but what he wanted most when he passed was to donate his brain to Huntington's Research. He had been tested before having children and did not have the gene. He wanted his brain to help find a cure for this horrible disease any way that he could. He wanted it for all those suffering from HD and their loved ones. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances his brain was unusable for this purpose. 

Again, our family will persevere and grow stronger from this tragedy. We will do all that we can for this cause not only because it's so close to our own individual hearts but also because it was so close to Adam's. We can honor him in this way. He was a runner. What better way to honor him than to run? He was an advocate for HD. What better way to honor him than to be an advocate for HD? He was a giver. What better way to honor him than to give?

Last year when our family participated in this walk, Adam ran the entire course 3 times total. Once in memory of Dad. Once for our middle brother Nathan. And once for myself. You see, Nathan and I have not been tested. We live in a world where every now and then when we forget our keys or stutter our speech, we have in the back of our heads, "This could be it. I could have it." But even more frightening than that, we worry about the other being diagnosed with it.

We have also witnessed an uncle succumb to this disease and a cousin currently suffering symptoms of the disease awaiting test results.

If you would like to memorialize our father and all the others that have succumbed to this disease, if you would like to honor Adam in the best way you possibly could, if you would like to give hope to those suffering like our cousin, or if you would like to help Nathan and myself and so many others not have to worry about this incredibly devastating disease please donate today. Help us find a cure!

Just about a month and a half after Adam's passing, HDSA announced a new drug that had been formed. IONIS-HTTRx is a historic moment in the fight against HD as it represents the successful completion of the first trial to treat the underlying cause of Huntington's disease, the genetic mutation itself. Then on March 1 more results about the drug came out, "Top-Line data demonstrates significant reductions of disease-causing mutant Huntingtin protein in people with Huntington's Disease."

We are on the edge of breakthrough people!!!!! As you can imagine, this has brought some hope to our suffering family. All I ask is that you help us breakthrough by donating. Help us find a cure! Your donation can be as little or as big as you feel comfortable with. ANYTHING helps! Or you can join our team!! We'd love to expand and have you on board! The more the merrier!

Thank you so much for your support!!

P.S. We hope you get a kick out of our team name! Adam and his witty self chose it for our previous walk, and it's had us laughing since!!

If you'd like more information on what exactly HD is –– 

Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure.

HD is known as the quintessential family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene. Today, there are 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.

To learn more about Huntington’s disease and the work of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, visit or call 1-800-345-HDSA.

Please walk with me by joining my team and help make a difference! If you cannot walk with us, please consider making a donation to our team fundraising page by clicking the ‘Donate’ button at the top of this page. 


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