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Woman's Struggle Brings "Hope Walk" to Joplin - KOAM TV 7

Woman's Struggle Brings "Hope Walk" to Joplin

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

The Team Hope Walk is this weekend, in Joplin. It's one of more than a hundred held across the country raising money for the Huntington's Disease Society of America. Huntington's Disease affects 30,000 Americans.. including a Joplin woman. 

"Kelly was always a person who liked to have a lot of fun," Team Hope Walk coordinator Darrin Henry said. "Like riding, shopping. No matter where she was at with the kids, she would try to make everything fun." 

In 1996, his wife Kelly Henry began noticing symptoms of Huntington's disease. 

"It was a minor symptom. It was like a twitching of a finger," Darrin said. 

Since 2013, she's needed around the clock care. 

"People help her with every aspect of life now," Darrin said. "Bathing, clothing. Your just normal things of life you take for granted. You know, she needs help with everything."

Huntington's disease causes nerve cells in the brain to break down. Sharing symptoms of ALS, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's. It's fatal. It has no cure. Huntington's is hereditary. People with the disease have a 50% chance of passing it to their child. Kelly's father died of HD. Her two children have yet to show symptoms. 

"It's a rare disease so it doesn't get a lot of attention. That's one of the main reasons we do the walk," Darrin said. "Awareness and research dollars are the biggest things that we're wanting to do with the walk." 

Three years ago Darrin Henry started the Joplin Team Hope Walk. Funds go to HDSA, which focuses on education, advocacy, and research. 

"HD research can lead to possible treatments for other well known diseases," Christopher Cosentino of HDSA said. "So the research that's going on for Huntington's disease right now is incredible." 

Over the walk's first two years, Darrin says Joplin has contributed with more than 200 walkers and more than $24,000. This year looks to continue the trend. 

"I think it means a lot," Darrin said. "It provides people hope that have this disease. It shows people that are coming out to help them. And I want to do everything I can do in my power to help out. And that's why I'm involved in this walk."

The walk is Saturday, 10am, at Landreth Park. More than 100 walkers are registered, with a goal of raising $13,000. 

Online registration can be found HERE.

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