Will Brown's blog

Iwo Story

Japan allows only one one day tour of Iwo Jima each year. There are still 11,000 soldiers entombed there, so it’s a sacred place to them. The tours are run for about 150 people by Military Historical Tours of Woodbridge, Virginia. They are run in conjunction with the Iwo Jima Association of America. Japan has a corresponding organization and works with the Americans on the annual commemoration ceremony. All tour participants have to join the American Association.

I Lost My Brother to HD

Steve's obituary photo

My younger brother Steve died peacefully in his sleep on September 6, 2014 after a rapid deterioration of his Huntington’s symptoms. He and I had been close as kids, but we drifted apart when our lives took us in different directions as adults.

HD and Cancer

Splitting cancer cells

I recently had my annual full body scan by my dermatologist for skin cancer.  When he entered the examining room I threw my hands up and said, “I plead guilty to running shirtless in the summer without sunscreen!” It was obvious from my perpetual upper body tan, which fades a little in winter.

Donating Blood With The HD Gene

Will giving blood

It’s fine to give blood when you’ve tested positive for the HD gene. I was a regular donor when I found out I had it and one of the first things I did was to check to see if I could still give. At the time I was a blood drive sponsor for a North Carolina agency and had access to the full Red Cross eligibility manual. It said, “… donors with the Huntington’s Disease gene are acceptable as long as any involuntary movements will not affect the donation process”.

When It’s Time To Quit

I’ve written before about finding excuses not to take proactive steps to fight the Huntington’s Disease demons. I’ll try to never quit that battle. However, there are some times when you have to stop doing something, like driving, to insure your safety and that of everyone else on the road. That’s a very difficult thing to do, since it means losing your freedom and admitting that the disease has gotten the better of you

 

Finding An Excuse to Quit

This past Saturday I ran my annual 50 mile race at the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run in my hometown of Raleigh, NC.  I have finished the 100 five times and the optional 50 miler 9 times, including this year.  I’m also on the Race Committee and handle registration and awards.

A Lucky Falling Out of Love Story for Valentines Day

I know when we fell in love.  She was dating my roommate in prep school. Yes, I went to a snotty boy’s boarding school in New England.  I wasn’t from a wealthy family, but had a working scholarship.  I worked in the kitchen every day to earn my way through. She was from an old family and went to a snotty private girl’s school.  I’m not sure how it happened – it just did.  I was kind of a jock – co-captain of the hockey team and a starting attackman on the lacrosse team. Maybe that attracted her.  She was smart and physically attractive.

How to Start a Walking Program

We all know that exercise is beneficial for everyone.  It’s particularly important for people with, or at-risk for HD.  A New Year’s resolution made and kept will make you look and feel better.  Do you have to go to a gym 6 days a week and sweat bullets to get in shape?  NO!!!  Do you have to run marathons?  NO!!!  Do you have to spend a fortune on fancy equipment?  NO!!!

Supplement Review - My Favorites

I chose my supplements based on research and cost. I couldn’t afford to take everything I would like to, so I chose those with the best potential at affordable amounts. That’s why I chose Creatine alone instead of a combination of it and Coenzyme Q10. There is not a lot of hard research on neuroprotection, so I also chose under the philosophy “Can’t Hurt, Might Help”.

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