By Channing Frampton and Briana Harvath

“God gives us lessons and blessin’s. This is both a lesson and a blessing for me,” says Michael Dreikorn.

He is talking about his wife of two years who is living with Huntington’s disease.

“It looks like you’re intoxicated,” he said. That’s because the disease attacks your nervous system.

Terry Vaughn, who used to be an active referee on the field, is now taking it one day at a time with the disease.

“We were in denial right away,” said Vaughn. “It was really debilitating on so many levels.”

Now, Jaime Lattin is coordinating Southwest Florida’s first Hope Walk to help raise money for research and support for families going through what she’s already gone through.

“My dad had HD and passed away almost three years ago,” said Lattin.

As she works to help locally, leaders in Washington are working to help too with the HD Parity Act, “which would waive the two-year periods that people with HD have to wait right now to receive Medicare,” said Lattin.

Giving families much needed support as the disease progresses.

“As a caregiver, you have to make it a full time job with HD,” said Dreikorn.

Despite the challenges, he’s not giving up, and neither is his wife.

“She’s a trooper. The fact that she is not giving up is totally admirable,” he said.

The inaugural walk for SWFL is Saturday, Oct. 19. Check in starts at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral.