VOLO – One in every 10,000 Americans is affected by Huntington’s disease, much like Danielle Karlson-Perrott and her family.
However, few Americans have knowledge about the fatal disease.
“Currently my husband and mother-in-law are Huntington’s disease positive,” said Karlson-Perrott, a board member for the Illinois chapter of Huntington’s Disease Society of America. “My husband, Charles Perrott, was diagnosed in 2007, and his mother, Pamela Perrott, was diagnosed in 2003.”
Huntington’s disease is a genetic, neurological degenerative brain disease.
The disease is always fatal, but each individual is different as to the length of their life and when they begin showing symptoms, Karlson-Perrott said.
“My mother-in-law has barely any symptoms and she is 60 years old, whereas my husband is already showing symptoms and he’s only 29,” she said. “In most people, symptoms will begin at around age 30.”
The length of life after diagnosis varies. Typically most do not live past 70, but those diagnosed around 30 usually will live only to about 45 or 50 years old, Karlson-Perrott said.
“Huntington’s disease has similar symptoms to Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s,” she said. “Those diagnosed with Huntington’s disease will typically have mind issues, depression, walking issues, develop a stutter, eventually lose speech, have shaky hands, and some can even get overly violent or angry because they do not know what is going on.”
Combining her husband’s love for automobiles and her own interest in charity work, the couple created the Hot Rods for Huntington’s Disease event at the Volo Auto Museum.
“My husband and I wanted to work together and make sure families can have some fun at the event with no pressure,” Karlson-Perrott said. “We’re not asking for a ton of money. We just want to give the public a good time, spread awareness and help out as much as we can.”
The charity event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Volo Auto Museum, 27582 Volo Village Road, Volo.
The event will have a wide range of antique hot rods, muscle cars and even two hearses.
The event will include hundreds of souped-up cars and vintage classic vehicles, live music, a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. Players from the Chicago Bliss will also be present.
The money raised from the Hot Rods for Huntington’s Disease event will be sent to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. The money will be used for research, support groups and home care, Karlson-Perrott said.
The public can register cars for the show for $20 or enter the baggo contest, which is $40 per team. General admission costs $13.95 for adults and $8.95 for children.
To donate to the Huntington’s disease cause online, visit www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/danielle-karlson/hotrods-for-huntingtons-disease-hot-rod-reg.