MARQUETTE- Many people came out for the Huntington's Disease Society of America Team Hope Walk Sunday making its second year a success.
There were more than 60 people who went to the walk to help raise awareness and funds for research in hopes of finding a cure for Huntington's disease. Amanda Meadows, volunteer for HDSA and organizer for U.P. Hearts for Huntington's, was amazed by how many people came out for the walk.
"I wasn't terribly certain we would get a lot of people for our second year," Meadows said. "We only had about 29 preregistered and last year we only had about 20 walk, so this is great."
More than 60 people walked from Mattson Lower Harbor Park to McCarty’s Cove to raise money for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America Team Hope Walk Sunday.(Journal photos by Adelle Whitefoot)
The walk raised $525 and all the money raised will be given to HDSA to help with research and aid families who suffer from the disease. Huntington's disease is an inherited brain disorder that results in the progressive loss of both mental faculties and physical control.
"Seeing so many people (at the walk) just shows that the disease is more prominent up here then I thought," Meadows said.
According to HDSA, the symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 and 50, and worsen over a 10- to 25-year period. HDSA estimates that one in every 10,000 Americans has Huntington's and more than 250,000 others are at risk of having inherited it from a parent. A child who has at least one parent with the gene has a 50 percent chance of developing the disease themselves.
"I'm doing things because I want to help fund the research because I want to make sure there's a cure for my kids in the future," Meadows said.
Another mother who wants to see a cure in the future for her kids is Laura Spade of Harvey. Spade got in contact with Meadows after she saw an article in The Mining Journal about Meadows' family, and that's how she learned about the walk.
"My mom has Huntington's, so I'm at risk, as well as my kids," Spade said. "Hopefully there will be a cure someday for Huntington's and that's why I'm doing this walk."
Spade said she was also surprised by how many people were participating in the walk.
"I didn't know so many people even knew about the disease or had it because it's so rare," Spade said.
To donate to the HDSA contact Deborah Boyd, Great Lakes Regional Development Director, Huntington's Disease Society of America, P.O. Box 72, Richland, MI 49083 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks should be made payable to HDSA. Donations can also be given to Amanda Meadows who can be contacted at email@example.com.
For more information on Huntington's disease visit www.hdsa.org.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.