A HOUSTON woman whose sister is battling a devastating neurological disease has organised a ‘walk of hope’ in support of others affected by the condition.

Margaret Moncrieff and friends will trek for five miles along the banks of the River Clyde from Erskine on Saturday in support of people with Huntington’s Disease (HD).

The hereditary condition can put a huge emotional burden on sufferers and their families.

This will be the ninth year Margaret has organised the Clydeside sponsored walk to raise funds for the Scottish Huntington’s Association.

She estimates that, over the years, she has generated more than £12,000.

Margaret, 74, told The Gazette: “This really is a most devastating condition and a diagnosis of HD is a terrific blow to a family.

“Sufferers of HD will require many years of care, usually provided within the family.”

Margaret’s sister, who lives in Lanarkshire and is cared for by her husband, was diagnosed with HD 14 years ago, at the age of 58.

“It was a huge blow,” said Margaret. “I have witnessed a slow, long-term decline in her condition.”

As it progresses, the disease affects movement, balance and co-ordination, thinking processes and mental health.

It has been likened to having Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s and elements of Alzheimer’s, all at the same time.

The condition can take many years to develop.

Margaret said: “Previously, I was told I was at risk myself and had a 50/50 chance of developing HD but have since been told I do not have the gene.”

Margaret is hoping as many people as possible will join her on the walk of hope.

Among those supporting Saturday’s event is Councillor Michelle Campbell, who represents Erskine and Inchinnan.

She said: “Within my role as a nurse, I have helped to care for many individuals affected by this complex genetic condition.

The Gazette: Cllr Michelle Campbell Cllr Michelle Campbell

“Any support people can give to such important work is appreciated. I have seen within my profession the importance of this support to individuals, families and research.”

Margaret and her fellow walkers will meet at the small car park opposite Erskine Swimming Pool at 10.45am for a 11am start.

To support Margaret’s fundraising drive, make a donation on her JustGiving page

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