UCL HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE RESEARCH
WALKING FOR A CURE
Megan presents the money raised to Prof Sarah Tabrizi
Megan wearing the t-shirt she had printed for her sponsored walk
Megan on her fundraising walk with friends
Megan cutting a cake made by Dr Miranda Say, psychologist (right)
Megan Smith – fundraiser extraordinaire!
Recently Megan Smith, then aged 13, organised a sponsored walk and a cake sale and successfully raised over £1000 for our HD research at UCL. We are extremely proud of Megan, and grateful to everyone who took part. As a special thank-you, we invited Megan and her family to spend an afternoon with us in the department on 31st October 2008, where she had the chance to meet the HD team and try out some of the equipment used in the Track-HD study.
Megan’s fundraising experience
Megan decided to raise money for Huntington’s disease after finding out her Dad is a carrier of the gene. Together with her friends, Megan walked 12 miles from Hullbridge to Hockley Woods (Essex) and back again, and raised over £1000 for our Huntington’s disease research at UCL.
We spoke to Megan about what ‘Walking for a cure’ meant to her.
When you found out about your dad having HD, did it change your life?
Not really. It took a few weeks for it to sink in, but it hasn’t affected my life yet as I am still doing well at school.
What does having a parent with HD mean to you?
It just means that my dad is different from everybody else’s dad, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun and a lot of laughs. I don’t worry as much now about my dad having HD, as I know that they are so close to finding help that I have all hope in them.
Why did you decide to raise money for HD research?
When I found out about my dad having HD, I decided that I just wanted to help him and other people who have got it. I thought that if I raised some money it may help to push the research along and that way they may find something that would help my Dad and other families.
What have you learned through raising money for HD research?
That not a lot of people knew about the disease, but some people told me that a friend or family member had HD. By doing the sponsored walk, it has raised awareness, and many people wanted to contribute money towards the walk. I also made some friends along the way.
How do you feel talking to your friends about HD?
At first I didn’t want to tell them about Dad, so it was quite hard. But then as time went on, I decided to tell them and I found that they were really supportive. So it was much easier for me to organise the event with their help, and it was really nice to have them beside me all of the way – so thank you, guys!! (Laura, Sam, Beth, Andrea, Jess, Hannah, Abbie, Forrest and Kajal.)
What is your favourite activity you share with your Dad?
When we play on the trampoline and when we play on the Wii and Wii Fit!
What is your favourite thing about your Dad?
That he is always supportive with anything I do and always encourages me to do well. When I decided to do the sponsored walk, Dad was enthusiastic and wanted to join in.
What do you want to do when you grow up?
I really want to become a research scientist because I absolutely love science, and I really want to help find a cure for my Dad and for other families where other diseases are involved.