Nancy Patterson of Ellsworth was honored with the Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s (HDSA) individual award for Patient and Family Services at its national convention on June 22 in Jacksonville, Florida. Patterson, the HDSA Maine Affiliate Chair, was recognized for her dedication to helping families with Huntington’s disease (HD). She is in her third year of running an HD support group in Bangor, has put on three Education Days in Maine including one at the Passamaquoddy Reservation, does trainings for nursing homes with the HDSA Social Worker, and meets personally with many families to connect them to the resources of HDSA.
Nancy participates in the control group for an observational study called Predict which aims to determine onset of the disease so that treatments and therapies can be started as early as possible. She is also trained as a Clinical Trials Diplomat to give presentations on how people can participate in research. The only way to find a cure for this devastating hereditary disease is for people who have HD to join the trials and studies.
Patterson advocates for state and local legislation, has presented in sessions at the New England Conference and the National Convention, speaks to civic groups to increase awareness, and was recently interviewed by Maine Public Radio. She can be seen at Community Health Charities events with her display as well as at festivals in the area.
She is in her third year of coordinating Team Hope Walk, Fun-Run, Bike on the Down East Sunrise Trail. This year the event will take place on October 6. With her fellow affiliate members, she is working to make a reality at least one nursing home in Maine with beds dedicated to people with HD where both specialized training and equipment are necessary. Nancy is known for her energy, enthusiasm, and passion for making a positive difference in the lives of those with HD.
Anyone who wants more information or would like to become involved please visit WWW.HDSA.ORG or call 1-800-345-HDSA.