This year many brave clubmen will be running the half marathon for the Charity The Huntington’s Disease Association. This is a cause close to our former Presidents and club stalwarts heart. Joe Randall has shared his story with us and shows why, as a club, we want to raise money for this brilliant cause. This is his story:
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Joe Randall, a 4th Year Accounting and Finance student at the University of Warwick. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the University of Warwick Men’s Cricket Club (UWMCC) for over 3 years now, having a chance to train, travel and play with a huge number of people I am proud to call my friends. I’m incredibly grateful that the exec has confirmed that a large proportion of our 2019/20 fundraising efforts will be going towards a charity very close to home. If you could take a moment to read about a cause close to my heart, I would be really grateful.
Huntington’s Disease (HD) is caused by a faulty gene that results in parts of the brain becoming gradually damaged over time. It affects roughly 7 people in every 100,000, making it very rare. It is sometimes described as having Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Motor Neurone Disease all rolled into one with the majority of people developing symptoms around their 40’s. There is currently no cure, with most people dying from HD between 10 and 20 years after symptoms start. Finally, there is a 50/50% chance of inheriting the faulty gene from whichever of your parents carries it.
During my time at university, I have told many people that I was simply too lazy or ‘forgot to apply’ when I was on a gap year, resulting in me completing a Foundation Year before I could begin my full degree. In actual fact, my Mum was diagnosed with HD during my A-Levels resulting in me taking some time out of my studies to support my family and forcing me to rethink what I wanted to get out of university, or if I even wanted to go at all. Sadly, my Mum’s health is deteriorating at quite a steady pace meaning that she’s no longer able to drive, work or complete seemingly simple tasks by herself. This makes home life tough, as each period that I spend away reaffirming just how much of an impact HD is having on my family. It also means that my 3 siblings and I are at risk of inheriting the gene, with the only way of finding out being a blood test. This is something that weighs pretty heavily on me personally on a day to day basis as there are certainly arguments for and against having the test.
The Huntington’s Disease Association aims to spread awareness and support families and individuals affected with HD. Amidst your obligations to your degree, social and family life, I do not possess the vocabulary to describe what your support would mean to my family and the rest of the Huntington’s community. By donating, raising awareness or even running the Stratford Half-Marathon with me, your help would mean the absolute world to me. Thanks for reading and I hope, if nothing else, you at least know a little bit more about HD. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have!
The adversity Joe and his family have to had to face demonstrates the need to combat Huntington’s Disease and UWMCC are proud and determined to raise as much money as possible for this brilliant cause. You can learn more about the condition through their website.