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article imageCyclist seeks to raise awareness of rare disease

By Kevin Jess     Aug 11, 2010 in Health
Montreal - For some, the fear of being at risk for Huntington's Disease is so great that it is never mentioned. It is kept secret even from your own children who may also be at risk for the disease. Such is the case with Kevin Glenney's father until recently.
It was only this past January that Kevin Glenney, 36, learned that his family had a history of Huntington's Disease.
He was about to realize one of his life long goals, riding a bicycle solo across Canada and he was thinking that it might be a good idea for a charity to benefit from the trek.
His father suggested Huntington's Disease and told him how it was in his family. He had lost his father and his grandfather to the disease and had been living with this dread all of his life, wondering if he had passed it on to his own children.
Mr. Glenney told the Ottawa Citizen, "My dad has been petrified of the disease forever. He lost his dad when he was 10 years old," and "he's been holding all this stuff inside for a long time."
Huntington's disease is a genetic disorder that can cause involuntary muscle twitches, cognitive decline and dementia. When symptoms appear, the disease takes between 10 and 20 years to cause death. Victims of the disease often choke when eating or drinking so a feeding tube often becomes necessary. Death usually occurs from another complication, such as pneumonia.
Two Wheels and a Heartbeat, Kevin Glenney's solo bike ride across Canada, began June 4, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia and will end early in September at Cape Spear, Newfoundland, the eastern most point in North America.
Today, Mr. Glenney was in Montreal and has completed over 5800 km of his 8300 km journey. A typical day of Glenney's trip sees between 130 and 180 km of road. He does stay at friends at some points along the way but also camps alone most nights. He recently spent the night with an old college friend in Ottawa.
Kevin Glenney at the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
Kevin Glenney at the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
With permission of Kevin Glenney
Mr. Glenney hopes to raise $30,000 for Huntington's Disease and has already passed the half way mark. Donations can be made to the Huntington's Society or you might also wish to purchase lunch for Glenney on his website via PayPal.
Glenney hopes to raise awareness for a disease that even doctors often know very little about but he says he also enjoys meeting people and hearing their stories.
Kevin enjoys meeting people and other friends on his journey.
Kevin enjoys meeting people and other friends on his journey.
Kevin Glenney/with permission
More about Huntingtons disease, Awareness, Genetic, Cyclist, Fundraising
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