“It’s been amazing to be part of this Houston family,” LaForce said from the podium. “We’ve lived in 11 cities and played with five teams, but we’ve never felt more welcome than we have here.”
“It’s hard today when everyone has a cause and every single player has a foundation,” she continued. “But 30,000 people are affected with Huntington’s disease, and because of its mode of inheritance, 200,000 children are at risk.”
Her mother-in-law, Lee Smith, suffers from the progressive neuro-degenerative disease. Because the condition is dominant, there’s a 50 percent chance that Smith and his sister, Megan Nein, have it, too.
“I don’t see a reason to get tested for it,” Smith said tearfully following an emotional video montage documenting his mother’s decline. “Because right now, there’s no cure for it.”
He and LaForce plan to incorporate IVF treatments into their family planning. That way, they can select embryos that don’t have the Huntington’s disease gene.
But, as LaForce explained, each round costs around $25,000. “Fortunately, we’re able to afford that. There are so many families that can’t.”
Smith’s goal was to save 10 children. “Me and Allie will donate the first $25,000.”
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