"Plains to Lakes" is a 700 mile bicycle ride from Belle Fourche, SD to Minneapolis, MN for the 26th Annual HDSA Convention (June 24-26, 2011). In 1967, Marjorie Guthrie, the widow of famed folksinger Woody Guthrie, founded the Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease, which evolved into the Huntington's Disease Society of America. As in the prior twelve rides, the purpose of the ride is to heighten public awareness of Huntington's Disease and to raise funds for family services and research towards a cure.
Huntington's Disease (HD) is a neurological, familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation on the 4th chromosome. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the gene which causes degeneration of brain cells, resulting in the loss of ability to walk, think, talk, reason and swallow. Onset generally appears at midlife, but in some, onset occurs in childhood (juvenile HD) or in old age (late onset). The disease profoundly affects the lives of entire families, as the person with HD becomes totally dependent on others for his/her care. About one in 10,000 Americans have this disease. Since 1993, a genetic test has been available to those at-risk, to determine whether or not (s)he carries the HD gene. The test does not indicate at what age the disease will develop.
Support the Plains to Lakes ride by purchasing a t-shirt , donating or praying for a safe journey. Your contribution will support efforts to improve the lives of people affected by HD and their families, through programs of research, family services, education and advocacy.