By Spencer Durham, Daily Telegram Staff Writer

ADRIAN — The annual Team Hope Walk returns to Trestle Park for its sixth installment this Saturday.

The annual walk to raise awareness for Huntington’s Disease is a chance for families affected by the disease to help spread the word and raise funds. Huntington’s is a fatal genetic disorder with no cures that causes a progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. A child with a parent with Huntington’s Disease has a 50% chance of carrying the gene that cause the disorder.

About 30,000 Americans have Huntington’s and another 250,000 are at risk.

Bill Sprow describes it as a vicious combination of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“It is nasty,” he said. “It is insidious because it typically doesn’t hit until you’re after child bearing age.”

Sprow said a simple blood test can determine if one is positive for the disease, but the test results can be difficult for some to accept.

“If people find out they have the disease and watched people go through it, there is a high (rate) of suicide,” he said.

The Adrian man lost his daughter and wife to the disease and has been involved with the walk and raising awareness since the beginning. He also is part of a support group that meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the each month at The Oasis at Adrian Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center.

Sprow hopes Saturday’s walk will inform and draw more people not afflicted with disease.

“I would like to see more awareness of the disease and people willing to support,” he said. “We’ve been blessed with businesses because usually if I get in front of somebody I can make them understand how important it is.”

The event has a goal of $13,000. Over $11,000 has been raised already.

The walk starts 11 a.m. Saturday at Trestle Park with registration at 10 a.m.

“The event will be upbeat and it will be a nice day,” Sprow said.

The walk will last about 25 to 30 minutes going from the park to Adrian High School and back. There will also be a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. Most festivities will be wrapped up by 2 p.m., Sprow said.

Participants can register online at, but it is not necessary. People can also register the day of. Registering in advance will guarantee a T-shirt. Sprow said they ask for a $20 donation. There will also be sandwiches provided by Hoagie Man Deli.

Sprow said there will be plenty of information available Saturday for those wanting to learn more about the disease.

“There are a lot of good things that are happening right now,” he said. “If anybody is interested in genetics for diseases there is a lot of information I will try to pass along.”

Sprow said in addition to families affected by Huntington’s, there will be a representative from University of Michigan and hospice agencies present as informational sources.

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