Why am I choosing to run my second marathon in only 6 weeks? Although running the Boston Marathon on April 18th was an amazing experience, I am thrilled to be able to join with others raising money to help find a cure for Huntington’s Disease (HD) by running the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon on June 5, 2011.
HD is a rare, fatal neurodegenerative, hereditary brain disorder that slowly robs the affected individual of the ability to walk, talk, think and reason. HD has been described as a combination of Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s and Alzheimer’s rolled into one. It is caused by the mutation of a single gene and ultimately results in death. Those that have the HD gene will eventually develop the disease, and any children of an affected person have a 50% chance of also having it. It does not skip a generation. There is currently no cure.
Why Huntington’s Disease and not some other fund raiser? HD has touched me personally in a way that I cannot deny. Almost two years ago my world would forever be changed as I found out that my mother has HD. Her mother died of the disease, and her sister is in final stages. I also have a cousin who is suffering with HD.
After much prayer and support from my husband Dan, I decided to get tested to see if I had the gene. It was worth it for the 50% chance that I didn’t have it. In December of 2009 my worst fears were realized. I have the gene, and now each of my 3 children has a 50% chance of also having it.
I spent some time feeling sorry for myself, crying a lot, and then welcoming my distractions of being a busy mom to take my mind off the disease. The reality is the disease is not going away, and each day I spend with my dear mother is a painful reminder of it.
I am running the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon on June 5th solely for the purpose of getting the word out about HD, raising money to help find a cure, and to feel that my running has a purpose beyond the joy I get out of it. The good news is that we are getting closer and closer to a cure. It’s very exciting to see how much has been accomplished just the last couple of years. I feel strongly that with enough money and resources a cure is just around the corner.
To read more about HD please go to their website; www.hdsa.org
I feel excited and blessed that I am able to partner with you, my friends in helping to find a cure. Your support means the world to me and my family. Please consider making a pledge to find a cure to end HD. Your contribution is tax deductible.
(Tax ID - 13-3349872) THANK YOU SO MUCH! ~ Leilani (Botha) Dunmoyer