By Phillip Boudreaux
OAK CREEK, Wis.—
An Oak Creek family is looking to raise awareness of Huntington's Disease.
Huntington's Disease is a rare condition with 41,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.
For a year and a half now, Chris Guzikowski has lived with this disease The neurological disorder affects him in multiple ways, including his driving.
“The involuntary hand movement that I can’t control, so sometimes when I’m driving or at work all day, it’s just moving on me,” said Guzikowski.
He is excited to get home because his whole family will be there.
Guzikowski said he cherishes these moments because he knows his condition will get worse. Huntington’s Disease is described as a combination of ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s all happening at the same time.
“I sound like I have more of a mumble type of talk than a clear crisp talk, so it’s starting to slowly change,” said Guzikowski.
Guzikowski remembers being heartbroken when he was diagnosed with the same disease that killed his older sister ten years ago.
Knowing that Huntington’s is hereditary and can be passed down to his three daughters, he wanted to be proactive.
“We thought we should bring awareness to the Oak Creek area, so last year, we organized a race and so we had our first Guzi’s 5K,” said Guzikowski.
His daughter, Carly Renner, is a nurse. Sometimes, she helps her father with dexterity exercises to check on his motor skills.
“It was very challenging. Me and my dad are very close, and so for him to go through it, it’s really challenging to watch, but I think the hardest thing is knowing even though he can explain it to all of us. It’s still very isolating for him and that makes me really sad,” said Renner.
Guzikowski wants to spread awareness of the disease and support research for a cure with the 2nd Annual Guzi’s Hunt for the Cure Run/Walk for Huntington's Disease.
This year, the event aims to raise $100,000 for the Wisconsin Chapter of Huntington’s Disease Society.
While Guzikowski hopes to make a difference in raising community awareness about the disease, he said he appreciates his wife for being there for him every day.
“Whether it’s folding laundry to dishes to making sure my lunch is ready. She is doing a lot of extra things on the side, so I couldn’t be more thankful for her for that,” said Guzikowski.
Although his condition could ultimately lead to his death, Guzikowski is not giving up hope that one day a cure can be found.
A cure he hopes that not only may help him, but will help so many others fighting the same fight.
Guzi’s Hunt for the Cure walk will take place on May 22nd at 8am in Lake Vista Park in Oak Creek.