SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s rare – just 41,000 Americans have Huntington’s disease. But there are cases right here in KELOLAND. This weekend, people are coming together in Sioux Falls in hopes of helping find a cure.
The South Dakota chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America is gearing up for a team hope walk at Sertoma park.
Debbie Stadley-Augustad is on the board.
“It’s to build awareness, it’s to advocate, it’s to tell our story. It’s our biggest fundraising event of the year. A few years back, we added the live auction element as well to make it a little bit more fun than just walking,” Stadley-Augustad said.
The cause means a lot to Stadley-Augustad, as her husband was diagnosed at the age of 38, and moved into the VA, 9 years later.
“So we all know somebody with ALS, right? And we all know somebody with Parkinson’s disease, and we all know somebody with Alzheimer’s disease. And so we think of all three of those wrapped up into one disease and in one person. So it it’s, it’s a tough, it’s a tough disease,” Stadley-Augustad said.
“I think that was the most surprising thing for me is that it was all three of those, you know, individually, those three diseases are awful and you put them all together to create another disease and all the, all the potential effects that it could have physically and mentally on somebody,” Brad Lingen said.
Brad Lingen had never heard of the disease until he met his wife, who is one of the more than 200,000 people at risk.
“Her father had Huntington’s Disease and, you know, as a child of someone with Huntington’s she’s 50/50 percent chance at risk of inheriting the disease. So that puts her at risk,” Lingen said.
After learning more about the disease he joined the board of the South Dakota chapter alongside Stadley-Augustad, both sharing the same mission.
“We’re going to, we’re going to find the cure. It’s going to be there,” Stadley-Augustad said.