PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Haverford College student finds support as her family battles a deadly disorder.
Sarina Smith’s family has been devastated by Huntington’s Disease — a rare disease that’s hereditary and has no cure.
Her grandmother and aunt have died and her mother lives in a nursing home because of HD, a brain disorder that Smith says is like living with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease all at once.
“At first it was kind of difficult dealing with it because it is a rare disease and not many of my friends or people in my community or neighborhood would really understand how it’s affecting my mom or family members,” the 18-year-old said.
And she felt alone, until she discovered the Huntington’s Disease Youth Organization and attended a camp with kids just like her. She’s also joined the National Youth Alliance and now has a support system as she spreads the word about HD.