By Chris Bavender
The Huntington’s Disease Society of America Indiana Chapter is hosting a bowling fundraiser at 4 p.m. March 5 at Woodland Bowl, 3421 E. 96th St., Indianapolis. All proceeds from the Strike Out HD will support HDSA’s mission to improve the lives of those affected by Huntington’s disease and their families.
Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and is described as having ALS, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease all at once. There are approximately 41,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 people at risk of inheriting the disease.
“A lot of people don’t know about Huntington’s disease, and even families impacted by HD don’t know other families impacted by HD,” said Jessica Ondell, president of the HDSA Indiana chapter and Fishers resident. “The goal is to bring people together to continue to build a community in Indiana to help support one another.”
Ondell has a personal connection to the fight to Strike Out HD – her family has a long history with Huntington’s disease going back several generations. Her mother died from the disease in 2002 and her sister is symptomatic.
“My sister is my inspiration for volunteering and raising funds,” said Ondell said, who started volunteering with the Indiana chapter in 2020.
Prior to moving to Indiana, Ondell was involved in groups in Nevada and Michigan.
Strike Out HD is one of the flagship events organized by HDSA’s volunteer-led chapters and affiliates nationwide to recognize those who have made an impact in their community while inspiring others to join the fight against HD. This is the third year for the event.
“Due to COVID, we haven’t had the event since 2019,” Ondell said. “We are excited to bring it back and get people from the community back together.”
The event raised $5,300 in 2019. This year’s goal is $5,500.
“But most importantly, we want to drive community by having people and families impacted by HD, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about HD, at the event,” Ondell said.
Strike out HD raises funds through lane sponsorships and individual bowlers.
“It is a flat amount per person registering for bowling,” Ondell said. “There will be a silent auction and 50/50 raffle at the event.”