I am, for the sixth year now, raising money in this year's Team Hope Walk to benefit the Huntington's Disease Society of America on June 1st. My mother was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease 10 years ago, just shortly after my uncle passed away from the disease, and has been battling it ever since.
Huntington's disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Adult-onset symptoms begin in most people around the age of 40, and it slowly destroys a person's physical and mental abilities until they are unable to care for themselves. It is known as a family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the fatal gene. Today, there are 30,000 symptomatic Americans, and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease - a number than includes my brother, my sisters, and I - and there is no cure.
For those who are diagnosed, Huntington's takes complete control of their lives, their families, and their futures. It's a ruthless and devastating disease, and there isn't anything we can do yet to stop it. But, we can do this. For the last few years, my siblings and I have raised money through these walks to fund HD research and support for families, like our own, that just want to control our own futures - even if it is one step at a time. And that is why I walk, and that is why I am asking for your help.
Any little bit makes a difference - even just coffee money - and will go directly to the HDSA programs in MA that provide direct support to my family and many, many others. And, if you fancy a nice (though probably pretty loud) Saturday morning stroll on Castle Island, join Team Patty here. The more the merrier!
With all of my love (and eternal gratitude),
"I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet." - Nadia Comaneci