Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride is backing a campaign urging kind-hearted Scots to pledge £3 each to help maintain vital services for people living with Huntington’s disease.
The Scottish Huntington’s Association’s FiftyFifty campaign aims to raise £300,000 via mobile phone and direct donations over the next 12 months to help 900 people and their families across Scotland affected by the fatal but little-known disease.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a hereditary neurological condition which causes a critical area of the brain to atrophy and eventually die, leading to a gradual decline in muscle function. Over the course of 15 to 25 years – from the first appearance of symptoms – people with the condition also lose the ability to walk, talk, eat and self-care. Their ability to think, make decisions and exercise judgement can be affected and they can also suffer emotional and mental health problems.
Linda said: “The work of the Scottish Huntington’s Association in supporting those affected by Huntington’s disease is fantastic.
“The SHA provides an invaluable service which is vital to helping local people enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
“I would encourage local people to do their bit to help the campaign and donate just £3 by texting HDSCOTLAND7 to 70003.”
The FiftyFifty campaign is named after the 50% chance that people with Huntington’s disease have of passing the gene which causes the condition on to their children.
Independent research commissioned by SHA shows that more than one in five (21%) Scots have no idea what the condition actually is and very few have an understanding of its devastating impact on those that live with it.
John Eden, CEO of the Scottish Huntington’s Association, said: “Despite the fact that Huntington’s Disease is not a particularly rare condition, it has a relatively low profile compared to other conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and yet Huntington’s Disease is about three times more common than MND.
“Although we are committed to providing ongoing support, without the funding we need, we will be unable to offer the same level of service as we do currently and this will only affect those families who need our help the most.”
To make a £3 donation to the Scottish Huntington’s Association, text HDSCOTLAND7 to 70003. For more information on SHA, visit www.hdscotland.org or call 0141 848 0308.