While attending a monthly support group meeting, a member of the group asked if I was planning to attend the Ataxia Walk n’ Roll. Since attending meant I had to wake up at 5:00 a.m., I explained I was not going to attend. A minute later, I accepted an invitation to volunteer at the event since I was not planning to walk or roll. Instead of waking up at 5:00 a.m., I now had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. I’m not exactly sure why I decided to volunteer, but I am happy I did.
Although I believe ataxia awareness is important, I knew very little about the actual event at which I agreed to volunteer. During the entire time I was there, I heard nothing about the event other than it was an opportunity for attendees to socialize and an opportunity to increase awareness of ataxia. Thanks to an article written by DENISSE SALAZAR for the Orange County Register, I finally understood the background.
According to the article, there is a very personal story behind the Walk n’ Roll. Three brothers, Tim, Peter, and J.T have a form of ataxia caused by a genetic mutation that attacks the cerebellum and affects balance and coordination, including activities such as walking, speaking and swallowing. Cindy and Gerald DeMint, parents of the siblings, learned they each carried the recessive gene that ended up affecting three of their four children.
To read the article by Denisse Salazar, click here, before the Register removes it.