Someone who I have met over the last few months and really connected with suffers from Huntington's Disease.
His name is Trey Gray and he's been the drummer for such artists as Faith Hill and Jewel...most recently, Brooks and Dunn and Ronnie Dunn. Some of you know that we met when Ronnie was in for our WEZL Evening with the Stars charity concert for MUSC Children's Hospital. I have since gone to Nashvlle to visit he and his family....and was inspired to act.
If you haven't heard of Huntington's before, in layman's terms, it's pretty much the onset of BOTH Parkinson's and Alzheimer's over time, at the SAME time - a neurological disease that will eventually keep him from drumming, take away his ability to think, his memory and control of emotions, as well as his capacity to physically take care of himself. Thankfully, he has been very physically active his whole life, literally, using all limbs everyday for his job, so the onset has been slower than average. Though he had times of self-doubt and questioning (which you see in the film), he's come to terms with his destiny through faith in God and doing all he can to help fund his foundation for treatments and hopefully, someday, a cure for Huntington's.
He, with 6 other doctors, families and people connected to the disease were featured in a moving, educational and powerful documentary called Alive and Well: a documentary about Huntington's Disease that I saw while I visited him in Nashville. Even before seeing it, I knew I had to get the ball rolling to get it shown here in Charleston...and after I saw it, I knew the word about this devastating disease had to be preached here...and anywhere I could get it shown for more people to see.
I'm asking that you join me, and Trey, if his schedule will allow it (being semi-famousy and all), for a screening of Alive and Well at Cinebarre right here in Mt. Pleasant. All you have to do is click the link below and buy one $11 ticket. We have to sell 60 to get it switched on and reserve the theater. I'll update this as more info becomes available but I hope to have a representative from Huntington's Disease Society of America (the national association), MUSC, the drug company that is coming closest to breaking through on developments, etc. present for any questions afterwards. PLEASE share with with ANYONE affected by Huntington's....or even Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, dementia and even ALS, as developments in treatments for Huntington's are directly correlated to helping those folks too.
If you can't make it, PLEASE do me a favor and simply share this event on your Facebook wall or anything.
Like the one doctor in the film said (abridged), maybe you aren't a doctor or a scientist working in a lab on solutions, but you ARE part of the puzzle to raise awareness, raise money and change someone's life. YOU are capable of being part of a movement. Join me today!
Thanks in advance for taking part in something that I really want to make my philanthropic focus for 2014...and very likely beyond just this year.
We have to "tip" the reservations by January 22, so get to RSVPing! I already did!