Dozens gather in Flowood for second annual Huntington’s Disease Awareness Walk

Published: May. 20, 2023 at 11:39 AM CDT
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FLOWOOD, Miss. (WLBT) - The Flowood Nature Park was filled with people walking for a change Saturday morning for the second annual Huntington’s Disease Awareness Walk.

A rare, terminal, and hereditary brain disorder, Huntington’s Disease, impacts over 200 families in the Magnolia State. This is why event coordinator Heather Thurgood-Wilmoth and her diagnosed husband Nathan were out bright and early fighting for a change.

“We have over 200 families here in Mississippi that are affected by Huntington’s, and if you stop and think how many people are in a family, we’re a family of four, but it affects the entire family. Not just me as his wife, or his kids, his sister is affected, his nieces are affected, his whole family is affected,” said Thurgood-Wilmoth.

Organized by Thurgood-Wilmoth and the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, the walk is used as a fundraiser to find a cure and to gather families who have members battling the disease.

“We started a Facebook page to find others who are like us because we didn’t want them to go through what we were going through when Nathan got his diagnosis. We [hope we] can help spread that awareness and let people know that you’re not alone,” said Thurgood-Wilmoth.

Last year’s event in Brandon had a fundraising goal of $6,000 and by the end of the day, had surpassed $14,000.

This year, Thurgood-Wilmoth said the goal was $14,000, and before a single shoe hit the pavement, nearly $10,000 had already been raised.

Thurgood-Wilmoth says she’s hopeful that through community events like this, a cure for Huntington’s can be found.

“With awareness comes funding, with funding comes research, and with research comes hope for a treatment or a cure,” said Thurgood-Wilmoth.

“Team Hope” is the event slogan, and it’s something that every member of Saturday’s event displayed by walking.

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