WHAT IS IT?
Huntington’s Disease (or HD) is often likened to having Alzheimer's, ALS and Parkinson's all at once. Rigidity of muscles, involuntary jerking of muscles, muscular contractures, problems with balance and gait stability, gait impairment, abnormal eye movement and difficulty with speech and swallowing are all symptoms of the disease. It is also genetic, with children of parents affected having a 50% chance of inheriting HD. Symptoms often start between the ages of 35-45, and once they begin, people with the disease are given an estimated lifespan of 10-20 years.
In 2013, Kate found out that her Mum had HD. In 2014, at the age of 23, she tested positive for the disease as well.
Kate is an Auckland based wife, mum and graphic designer. This year (2019) she decided to go public about her family history of Huntington’s Disease. She was at peace with the fact that not only was her mum suffering from the disease, but that she would go down a similar path later in life. It seemed like maybe, it was time for her to do something. She wanted to be able to tell someone she has HD and they know exactly what that means without having to Google it or feel sorry for her. She wanted to use her creative skill and passion to create something that would spread the word, enlighten and inspire. She wanted to start conversations so that families with HD don't feel like they have to hide away in fear of being misunderstood or ashamed.
And so she created Cling to Joy. A design that told a story and could be worn on all occasions - and not just by people affected with Huntington’s Disease. Something that was more than just a product to buy for a cause. Something people would actually want to wear that represents Huntington's Disease in a hopeful and uplifting way.
THE DESIGN EXPLAINED.
SO, CLING TO JOY.. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Cling to Joy is about desperately holding on to every happy moment and making the most of every day. It’s about how no one, even people not affected by HD, is promised tomorrow. The symbolism of the sun rise and sunset represents the hopeful start of a new day, a step closer to finding a cure.
The design, at first glance, is symmetrical but looking closer, there are irregularities. This represents the changes in the brain that happen once the symptoms of HD set in. The before and after. But it is also a reminder that people with HD are still the same person despite the changes they go through.
CLING TO JOY IS FOR EVERYONE.
This is about raising awareness. About shining a light on the symptoms of Huntington’s Disease. About sharing the general mindset that families with HD have to adopt to get through life.
It’s about clinging to every joyful moment.
FOR EVERY PURCHASE MADE, YOU DONATE TO SUPPORT FAMILIES WITH HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE THROUGH THE HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE ASSOCIATION (AUCKLAND) INC.
Huntington’s Disease Association (Auckland) Inc. was formed in the early 80’s to provide support for those living with Huntington's disease. Their services include:
+ Ensuring those who need it get the right support services and medical attention;/
+ Enabling others to understand the disease; and/
+ Furthering research to manage and cure Huntington’s Disease.