Drew - Hoping for a cure
The importance of search for possible treatments or a cure for Huntingtion's Disease is the one ray of hope for the hopelessness of HD. Because the gene mutation has been identified, and we know what happens in the brain of a person who has this gene mutation, a cure is theoretically possible.
Drew Earls is a young husband and father who lives with the knowledge that he has the HD genetic mutation. Although HD ran in his family, it wasn't until he was a young teen that he was made aware of that genetic history. His maternal grandmother was diagnosed shortly after the genetic test became available in the mid 1990s.
"Everyone thought she was crazy,” Drew recalls. "My grandmother was an angry, bitter person, and my mom did not have a good relationship with her." Because of their estrangement, his mother did not find out about the diagnosis until well after her mother had been tested.
Drew didn't see his grandmother much, but he believes that her anger and bitterness was a symptom of HD. This change in personality and behavior common in HD can create an environment in which communication about genetic issues is nearly impossible.
For Drew, the possibility of a meaningful treatment or an actual cure is one he firmly believes he will see in his lifetime. His mother has been in a drug trial program and has seen improvement in her symptoms. Drew himself is hopeful to participate in a trial soon. Because he is young and healthy, he hopes to qualify for a number of studies.
"Research is very important to me and my family," Drew says. He is counting on a cure.