By Diane Sandberg

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — As doctors race to cure viruses and diseases like COVID-19 and monkeypox, in Bloomington you can walk to help eliminate a rare disease. 

The Huntington's Disease Society of America Team Hope Walk is a step in the right direction. It's happening Saturday, July 23, at Bloomington's Hyland Park.

"This walk is to help raise funds for research that will help go along with clinical trials, and then we also support families of HD, because it is a family disease," said Kacey Anderson, the event chairperson. 

"My significant other has HD, and he's 37 years old. So I know for him, to be able to be around people he can relate to gives him a sense of peace," she said. 

Denise Arel is another person affected by HD. She got tested for the gene in 2014, and said that she wanted the information so her family could plan for the future. She inherited the disease from her mother's side of the family. 

Right now there are approximately 41,000 people in the U.S. with Huntington's Disease, and more than 200,000 at risk of inheriting it.

Early symptoms can be anything from involuntary jerking and balance problems, to memory lapses and difficulty with speech.

"You usually end up in the nursing home, unable to speak or live a life," Arel said. 

But thanks to fundraising efforts and support from the community, this walk isn't just about the money. It's about family. 

"We are a strong community. We are small in numbers, but mighty."