Huntingdon’s disease awareness campaign launched

A mother from Wrexham, whose three adult children are all living with the degenerative brain disease, Huntington’s, has helped to launch a new campaign to raise awareness of the condition.

Kim Wray, whose children are aged 36, 31 and 29, made a call for further research into the hereditary illness in the hope that a cure can be found for what she called “Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone Disease and Alzheimer’s all rolled into one”.

She and her husband Ian, who is stepfather to the three children, along with son Jonathan, are working with a local care organisation to increase awareness of the condition.

Jonathan has been diagnosed with Huntingdon’s disease, but it hasn’t yet progressed enough to prevent him living independently.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “There is no doubt Huntington’s is a terrible disease. It’s vital we raise awareness of the disease and how it manifests itself in those that suffer from it.

“It’s wonderful that Kim, Ian and Jonathan have talked about their experiences so people can gain an understanding of this awful condition that affects the central nervous system and brain.

“It causes involuntary muscle movement and changes in the brain that lead to emotional swings that can result in challenging behaviour and an inability to control emotions.”

Ms Wray said that it was unusual for three siblings to develop the condition like her children had and urged pregnant women to get themselves checked if they were aware of anybody in the family possessing the Huntingdon gene.

She said: “I would never want to put any child through what I have had to watch and endure my children go through and deal with.”

Huntingdon’s disease is an inherited condition, which prevents the brain from working over a length of time. It is degenerative disorder which is usually fatal after a period of 20 years.