About Huntington's Disease
Huntington's Disease (HD) is a brain disease that is passed down in families from generation to generation. It is caused by a mistake in the DNA instructions that build our bodies and keep them running. DNA is made up of thousands of genes, called Huntingtin. Over time this error causes damage to the brain and leads to HD symptoms
HD causes deterioration in a person’s physical, mental, and emotional abilities, usually during their prime working years, and currently has no cure. Most people start developing symptoms during adulthood, between the ages of 30 to 50, but HD can also occur in children and young adults (known as juvenile HD or JHD). HD is known as a family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene. Today, there are approximately 41,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.
Thank you for your time and understanding HD. My heart is full for those effected by HD. My mother who is in her 60's has Huntington's Disease. She is strong and fights HD every day of her life. She has lost the ability to talk, walk, and live a normal life. My mission is to raise awareness and fund the HD community in testing and research. I am lucky to say I am negative with the Huntington's Disease gene. However, my whole family is effected and the fight is not over.
The Shepard's Gift
The Shepard's Gift is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to bring relief and hope to people and families afflicted with HD and other neurologic diseases.
Specifically, The Shepard's Gift's mission is to promote ovine GM1 for the treatment of Huntington’s Disease (HD) and/or other neurological diseases through education, advocacy, and fundraising.
Ovine (sheep) GM1 is a natural molecule that has shown great promise in treating and even reversing Huntington's symptoms in mouse models. This research also gives hope for neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
20% of all sales will be donated to testing and research for HD
People at-risk for the disease have a difficult choice about genetic testing for HD, given that there is no cure. There is no right or wrong on whether a person wants to know if they will develop the disease. Genetic testing can cost up to $1,000. Here I hope to raise enough funds to donate to an individual at-risk for genetic testing.
Many times families that suffer from HD have to make tough decisions about how to care for their loved ones. In some cases a family member will take over and be the main caregiver to their loved one. Here I hope to raise around $500 to help with medical, food, and everyday living for HD families.
In Vitro Fertilization
Some families who have HD decide to take the in vitro route when having children to ensure HD is not passed to their offspring. However, in vitro cost up to $30,000.