History of the Tom Moore 5K Run/Walk

As the 11th Annual Tom Moore 5K Run/Walk for Huntington's Disease Society of America quickly approaches, I begin to reflect on how such a rewarding and meaningful event began. Eleven years ago Shelly Wilson, the former pastor of High Country United Church of Christ and I, during a bike ride, were discussing my profession as Appalachian State University's (ASU) Health Promotion for Faculty and Staff Program Coordinator, for a better term – Health and Fitness Educator. As we continued our conversation, she informed me about a member of our church who, two years earlier, was diagnosed with a dreaded, inherited illness, a disease that claimed his father's life, and several years later, a brother would succumb to the condition. Shelly continued to briefly describe what Huntington's Disease is and how it affects the patient and his or her family, adding symptoms, and stressing the disheartening fact there is no cure. Since that sunny evening in Todd, N.C., on Railroad Grade Road, one of my personal goals has been to help Tom and Jennifer Moore educate the community about Huntington's Disease and to raise money for ongoing research related to treatment and a cure.

Each semester I work with a group of ASU Recreation Management Program Planning students, under the supervision of Dr. Stephanie West. Together, we organize, implement and evaluate an outreach program for the community. The partnership is a win-win opportunity for the students and the supported organization. In a professional sense, this program provides me and the students with networking, organizational, and communicational skills that lead to positive career opportunities, while in a personal sense, this event provides each of us not only with a better understanding about an incurable condition, but it offers us the chance to make a difference in the lives of over 30,000 patients and their families nationwide...more importantly, a family who not only lives here in Boone, NC, but one we share fellowship.

To date, Appalachian State University Recreation Management students have raised over $25,000 toward research for an effective treatment, in hopes of helping to find a cure. For more information on Huntington's Diesease Society of America, one may log on to www.hdsa.org.


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