Starting on July 10, 2017, I am going to walk across the province of Saskatchewan in order to raise funds and awareness for the Huntington Society of Canada. My walk should take about three weeks and will cover about 700 kilometers. I plan on walking about 50 kilometers per day.
May is Huntington Disease Awareness month and also a time for me to step up my training. I started in April with about 150 kilometers of walking and I want to double that in May. I also want to inform people about Huntington’s Disease
What is Huntington’s Disease?
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited brain disorder. HD causes cells in parts of the brain to die: specifically the caudate, the putamen and, as the disease progresses, the cerebral cortex. As the brain cells die, a person with Huntington’s becomes less able to control movements, recall events, make decisions and control emotions. The disease leads to incapacitation and, eventually, death. There is no cure.
Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder. The HD gene is dominant, which means that each child of a parent with HD has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease and is said to be “at-risk”. Males and females have the same risk of inheriting the disease. Huntington’s occurs in all races. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 and 50, but the disease can appear in children or seniors.
Did You Know?
Famous American folk singer Woody Guthrie died of complications arising from Huntington’s Disease in 1967; the same year as Canada’s centennial. You can read about his struggle with the disease here.
This Land is Your Land
This Day in Training:
Distance: 11 kilometers walked
Backpack: 20 lbs
Temperature: 18 degrees
Conditions: No wind (finally!)
Most listened to song on my playlist: Today by the Smashing Pumpkins – Interesting story: I never really got the name of this band, until I lived in Cochrane, Alberta. I awoke on November 1, 1997, to find that all of the Jack-o-Lanterns on our street had been stolen and smashed on the street. Later in 2006, when teaching in Vanguard, Saskatchewan, I told this story to my Grade 12 English class on Halloween. The next morning the streets of Vanguard were littered with smashed pumpkins. Several townspeople blamed me for the incident.
I actually like this acoustic version of the song: