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Ontario Volunteer Contributes to $5 Million Cross-Canada Campaign for Huntington Disease

Volunteers across Canada raise over $5 million for Huntington disease



The amaryllis bulbs are sold out! Hundreds of volunteers from coast-to-coast raised over $115,000 for Canadians impacted by Huntington disease (HD). For almost 40 years, the Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) has sold amaryllis bulbs to inspire hope and raise awareness and funds to support individuals and families living with Huntington disease. 
For the Amaryllis Campaign, it’s the volunteers at the forefront that make the lasting and profound impact that really resonates with the community. For HSC, one of those volunteers is Garry Kinzie. While his day job includes managing a manufacturing plant in Cambridge, ON, he spends his spare time each fall selling amaryllis bulbs for a cause that strikes very close to home: Huntington disease.
The incurable neurodegenerative disorder runs in his family, slowly taking away the ability to walk, speak and — ultimately — swallow. His mother is in long-term care, and Kinzie himself has inherited the fatal gene.
This year, the North Dumfries man criss-crossed Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge in Ontario to deliver more than 100 amaryllis kits – and he didn’t stop there. He’s taken kits to friends all over Ontario, including Huntsville and Bracebridge, fellow cottagers in Coldwater and relatives in Tillsonberg!
Initially they dug into their pockets as a gesture of support to Kinzie and his family. However, what keeps them buying year after year are the stunning deep orange blooms. “It’s a gorgeous flower,” Kinzie says. “They grow so fast and so big and so colourful.” Indeed, his buyers regularly send messages raving about their blooms. “You won’t believe the phone calls I get or the emails or the people sending pictures,” he says.
Pictures of those blooms is something the Society is quite fond of. So fond, in fact, that photos are being collected for the annual Amaryllis Photo Festival right now. Photos of your blooming amaryllis (on its own or accompanied with your smiling faces or furry friends) can be posted to social media with the hashtag #HSCAmaryllis or sent to amaryllis@huntingtonsociety.ca. The winner will get to have their photographic masterpiece star on the HSC website!
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“The funds raised through this campaign are invested in cutting edge research to find a meaningful treatment for this devastating disease and to provide support services across Canada through our Family Services program,” says Jeffrey Hoffman, HSC’s Senior Development Manager and the Amaryllis Campaign Lead.  “We are so thankful to all of our generous volunteers across Canada who work so hard to sell over 20,000 amaryllis bulbs each year and for all the amazing individuals who support this campaign with their purchases.”
Each Amaryllis kit costs $15 and contains one high-quality Orange Sovereign Amaryllis bulb, soil, a pot and saucer, and growing instructions inside a beautiful gift box. It makes a great holiday present.
To learn more about purchasing an amaryllis or becoming a volunteer seller, visit www.inspirehope.ca or contact the Huntington Society of Canada at 1-800-998-7398 or amaryllis@huntingtonsociety.ca.  

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About Huntington Disease
Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited, debilitating brain disorder that is fatal and incurable. About one in every 7,000 Canadians has HD and approximately one in every 5,500 is at-risk of developing the disease. Many more are touched by HD whether as a caregiver, a family member, or a friend. Huntington disease is devastating for both the body and the mind. The symptoms, which may include uncontrollable jerking movements and relentless cognitive and emotional impairment, usually present between the ages of 30 and 45, and gradually worsen over the 10-25 year course of the disease. Eventually they lead to total incapacitation and death.
About the Huntington Society of Canada
The Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) is a respected leader in the worldwide effort to end Huntington disease (HD). HSC is the only national health charity dedicated to providing help and hope for families dealing with HD across Canada. HSC aspires to a world free from Huntington disease. For more information about Huntington disease and the Huntington Society of Canada visit www.huntingtonsociety.ca.

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