Thunder Rapids Fun Park in Headingley is hosting the 18th Annual Indy Go-Kart Challenge fundraiser for the cure to Huntington’s disease.
On Sun., Sept. 8 people can rev their engines and race, or watch the fun from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. where there will be racing to cheer on and prizes to be won.
Huntington’s disease is an inherited brain disorder that affects about one in every 7,000 Canadians. Vern Barrett, organizer of the upcoming Indy Go-Kart challenge, explains that "the (Huntington’s disease) gene is dominant, which means that each child of a parent with Huntington’s disease has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease and is said to be ‘at-risk.’"
Symptoms of the disease can include physical deterioration, loss of mobility, involuntary movements, emotional distress, and cognitive loss. These symptoms usually only begin to appear in people aged 30 to 45. The time from onset to death is often about 10 to 30 years.
Currently, there is no cure for Huntington’s disease. Barrett remains positive and explains, "in June of 2007, it was announced that Huntington’s disease had been cured in mice. In February 2012, Canadian researchers have demonstrated reversing the affects of Huntington’s disease within a mouse! There are also ongoing clinical trials for individuals with Huntington’s disease. We’re almost home!"
Everyone can participate to help researchers cross the finish line. This creative fundraiser involves volunteers in the fun. People wanting to participate can create teams of up to six people for two hours of go-karting at Thunder Rapids. Teams will alternate drivers every 20 minutes. Drivers must be at least nine years old and 52’’ tall to drive on their own, but there are passenger karts for parents who want to bring their younger children along for the ride.
There are two heats of races, one that starts at 9 a.m. and another at 11 a.m. on Sept. 8.
Barrett explains that teams "must raise at least $360 to participate, but that’s only $60 per person for a team of six, and you can use online pledging to get support."
To donate to the cause, and for more information, see www.hdmanitoba.ca for details. All donations go directly to services for Manitobans dealing with Huntington’s disease. Teams must sign up by Sept. 2 and can register by contacting Vern Barrett directly at 204-694-1779.