About Philly Cure HD

Mission Statement

PC-HD offers support to the local Huntington’s Disease community, educates the greater community about HD and the impact this neuro degenerative genetic disorder has on individuals and families, and supports HD research.

Board Members

  • Susan Arnold, Chair
  • Delane (Branson) Cachia
  • John Brennan
  • Tom Cancelmo, Vice-Chair
  • Nancy Hess
  • Christy Hoffman, Treasurer
  • Lois Lambing
  • Cullen McCallum
  • Graham McDonald
  • Sherri McElfatrick, Executive Director
  • Ian McEwan
  • John Monkmeyer
  • Charley Rekstis, Secretary
  • Jay Tolson
  • Sandi Zubyk

Corporate Sponsors

  • BTC Marketing
  • Cancelmo Photo
  • Dunleavy & Associates
  • Gateway Accounting and Tax
  • Metro Filing Services Inc.
  • Network for Good
  • Pansini & Pizzica
  • Sianna Carr O’Connor & Lynam, LLP

About HD

Huntington’s disease (HD) results from genetically programmed degeneration of brain cells, called neurons, in certain areas of the brain. This degeneration causes uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbance.

HD is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation in the normal gene. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene. If a child does not inherit the HD gene, he or she will not develop the disease and cannot pass it to subsequent generations. A person who inherits the HD gene will sooner or later develop the disease.

Whether one child inherits the gene has no bearing on whether others will or will not inherit the gene. Some early symptoms of HD are mood swings, depression, irritability, or trouble driving, learning new things, remembering a fact, or making a decision. As the disease progresses, concentration on intellectual tasks becomes increasingly difficult and the patient may have difficulty feeding himself or herself and swallowing. The rate of disease progression and the age of onset vary from person to person.

A genetic test, coupled with a complete medical history and neurological and laboratory tests, helps physicians diagnose HD. Pre symptomatic testing is available for individuals who are at risk for carrying the HD gene. In 1 to 3 percent of individuals with HD, no family history of HD can be found.