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Kathryn: “I’ve watched SHA grow to become the organisation it is today”

Kathryn and John have welcomed work by SHA to join up services and improve care

Kathryn, 75, retired English teacher and regular giver to SHA, shares her family’s story.

“Finding out my husband David had Huntington’s disease was a real bolt from the blue as he didn’t have any idea it was in his family. Back then, there wasn’t a great deal in terms of support and information, and when it came to the time for full-time nursing care, David went to live in the Sue Ryder home in the Borders. He was very happy there but it did mean a lot of travelling as a family because we lived in Ayrshire, which is quite a distance away.

“We were both teachers by profession and worked in schools in Luxembourg and Bruxelles when our children were young. We loved our jobs but decided to come home to Scotland when David’s symptoms became more severe because we wanted family and friends around us.

“David passed away in 1997 and I continued to stay in touch with Scottish Huntington’s Association. I’ve watched it grow from infancy to the organisation it is today. There have been so many changes for the better and I’ve been very impressed by the charity’s work to support families.

“My son John, who is 44, is symptomatic now and he lives independently with the support of SHA and other agencies. We were both at the launch of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Framework for Huntington’s disease, an incredible new resource led by SHA at national and local levels. I’m sure it’s already making a big difference to families and the professionals who support them. Everything is more joined up now so it’s easier to find the information and services we all need.

“There’s been real progress but there is always more we can do to support families with HD. I’ve been a regular donor to SHA for many years now because I don’t really have the opportunity to attend events or hold fundraisers. By giving every month, I know I’m helping SHA to reach HD families all over Scotland every day.”

Find out more about how you can support SHA with a regular gift at https://hdscotland.org/cup-o-kindness/

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