Thursday, 28 August 2008

trivia night and Huntington's disease

Penny had a quiet night at home alone last Saturday while her humans went to a trivia night. We didn't bring home any prizes; we obviously didn't know enough about sport or about the pop music of the seventies and eighties. That's weird - we were there, after all. Hmmm - must have had the radio turned off for twenty years.

However, we had a great night and also had the pleasure of knowing we were supporting a wonderful cause. Sean, the nephew of a good friend, is going to ride a bicycle across Australia, to raise funds for research into the terrible disease called Huntington's.

Three years ago Sean's father died of this disease and Sean, who had been diagnosed in 2002 as also carrying the Huntington's gene, decided he wanted to do something to honour his father's courageous life.

I'll quote a little from Sean's blog:
In May of 2005 John Egan died of Huntington’s Disease (HD). HD is an inherited neurological condition which slowly destroys the brain cells that affect the way people think, feel and move. There is no treatment. No cure. The disease is invariably fatal. I am John’s son, Sean. I am gene positive for HD.

The day after his funeral I started training furiously for the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic; a professional, one day race of over 300km. Two weeks out from the race I purchased my new bike; a final gift from Dad.

On the day of the race I cried most of the way to the start; partly due to the daunting task that was ahead of me, and partly because I missed my dad. When I completed the race, I was immensely proud of my achievement, and realised that this was only the beginning.

I began planning a bike ride across Australia. I wanted to try to do something physically difficult to honour the courage and determination with which my father lived his life. I’m training for the ride by cycling 300 to 400 km each week (up to 600km during school holidays).

I want to show people that despite the setbacks life throws at us, we are all capable of achieving amazing things. When I think about what Dad went through, failing to complete the ride is not an option.

He's starting on Friday 12th September, from Perth and intends to be in Melbourne on Sunday 5th October. If you glance at the map you can see it's a huge challenge.


Slavenka said...

Your friend is great.I hope that he
will make it.

parlance said...

Slavenka, I also hope he makes it, because it's a good cause.