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Hundreds trunk-or-treat for Huntington’s Disease

Kids "trunk-or-treat" at the Utah chapter of the Huntington Disease Society of America's annual Halloween Carnival and fundraiser. (Courtesy Utah HDSA)

SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of people turned out to raise awareness for Huntington’s Disease, a rare genetic disorder with no known cure that can impact movement, thinking and even personality, at Sugar House Park on Saturday.

Huntington's Disease has no known cure

Photo courtesy of the Utah HDSA

The Utah Chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America staged a walk and hosted a “trunk-or-treat” event, an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating where kids can get candy or other treats from the trunks of cars in a well-known, well-lit area instead of going door-to-door.

It is the chapter’s only fundraising event of the year. The group says about 75 people of all ability levels took part in the annual Team Hope Walk, and nearly 1,000 people turned out for the trunk-or-treat and Halloween Carnival afterward.

Huntington Disease Society of America

Kids of all ages turned out for the trunk-or-treat portion of the event. (Courtesy: Utah HDSA)

The local chapter of the HDSA raised approximately $10,000 through the events. The organization says all proceeds go to help people with Huntington’s Disease, who have a slew of symptoms, including personality-altering mood swings, anxiety, depression, balance issues, slurred speech, immobility, etc., and their families.

HDSA nationwide supports:

  • 54 volunteer-led chapters and affiliates
  • 43 Centers of Excellence
  • 70+ Social Workers
  • 170+ Support Groups

According to the HDSA, Huntington’s Disease causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, with about 30,000 Americans experiencing symptoms currently and another 200,000 or more at risk for inheriting the disease. Every child of a parent with Huntington’s Disease has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene that causes it.

Some people who have Huntington’s Disease have described it as being similar to having ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease at the same time. Symptoms typically appear between ages 30 and 50, though they can emerge earlier or later in life.

Even though the event is over, people who are interested in helping out can still donate online.