Huntington's Disease Society of America
My name is Kurt Hougland, and I have Huntington's Disease. I had the gene test done in 1993. I have 42 repeats.
My father died from HD when I was 18, he was 60. He had been unable to work for 10 years, as he slowly declined. He had been an electrical engineer.
My oldest brother died last June, when he was 61. His condition was very close to my father.
I also have an older sister who also has HD. She is in a nursing home now.
I am married. While my wife and I decided not to have children, I do have some nephews who are at risk.
I have been mostly affected by the cognitive aspects of the disease. I used to run my own business , refinishing bathtubs and counter-tops, but I was forced to close my business because I could not manage the financial aspects and the spraying of the items. That was four years ago.
My brother was in denial about having HD, and prior to my father there was no history of it in the family. I have decided to be as proactive as I can. I have participated in several research studies and am in one now. I will participate in any study I am qualified for.
My wife, Sheri has been supportive of my participation in the trials and along with my goal of riding my bike.
In 2012, I rode from California to Florida on my bicycle! It was a total of 2,900 miles, in 52 days. I rode with a group that provided everything needed . There were 30 riders in the group. I had always wanted to do this ride and after my brother died , I thought I might not have to ,many years left to try it. I am 52. It was a great trip, a great way to see the country! I also used the trip to raise money for the HDSA. I collected $ 2,400.., or about a $1.00 per mile!
I would like to thank everyone who donated and my family for being so supportive over the years!
I live in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on the Mississippi river, about 100 miles south of St. Louis.I am the tour director of our local bike club and ride five days a week with the club.
I hope that more effective treatments can be developed soon for HD. I have hope that a cure will be found, hopefully in time for my nephews, if they are affected.