Rocco and Pinckney –
Sponsored by St. Gregory the Great School, Bluffton, S.C.
By Karen Floyd
My father, David Pinckney, is the first of his family to be diagnosed with Huntington’s disease (HD), and since we had never heard of it, we were clueless to the signs and symptoms he had been experiencing for many years. For the longest time we thought he was drinking too much, but then we realized he was actually drinking less. His unsteady balance, indecisiveness, and irritability was getting worse by the day, and he refused to go see a doctor or stop driving his motorcycle and truck. It wasn’t until my sister and I found him one afternoon completely out of it, that we were able to get him to a doctor. This began the process of learning what living with HD truly means. He was 61 when he was diagnosed and is currently 75 and living in the memory unit of an assisted living facility. Before being admitted, my mom struggled to take care of him as he was always angry, refused help, and would not admit to having HD. There were many times that we had to either pick him up from town or call the police because he refused to quit driving, or he would be in a rage with my mom. My dad can no longer walk or talk and can barely feed himself, which is so hard to witness, but on a positive note, he is no longer mad at the world. Although he has not been physically healed, I do feel that in the last few years he has had a spiritual healing, and for that I am truly grateful.
I am one of four children. Two of my siblings have chosen to be tested and are both positive for HD. Two of us have chosen not to be tested but know the risks.
The depression and anxiety that comes with HD can take many of your good years away, long before it takes away your physical and mental abilities. As with all illnesses, HD takes its toll on all who have it and their caregivers. We are desperate for a cure or at least a treatment to slow down the progression. It is for that reason that my company, Play Hard Event Timing, has donated thousands of dollars for research, and why St. Gregory the Great Catholic School decided to sponsor both Rocco and Pinckney at Harvest Hope Farm. My family is forever grateful for those at Harvest Hope and all who help bring awareness and hope for a cure. Thank You!