A Family Tragedy Caused Me to Reevaluate My Huntington’s Status

A Family Tragedy Caused Me to Reevaluate My Huntington’s Status


At around 1 a.m. on Nov. 1, 2019, my aunt was pronounced dead. She had been waiting with her son in their car outside their house for a storm to abate when a tree fell on the car. Fortunately, my cousin was unharmed. 

My aunt had awoken that morning perfectly fine, and by the next day, she was gone.

While we weren’t close, her death has affected me. I am concerned about my dad. I was unable to travel to support him because of illness and the high costs. Though we didn’t share a close bond, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around my aunt’s sudden death.

This tragic accident increases my awareness of the fragility of life. I can’t predict the future, so what is the point of living in fear of what’s to come? While I believe in making smart decisions for the future, such as saving money and taking care of my health, I shouldn’t let worry about distant possibilities keep me from doing what I want to do.

I have the Huntington’s gene, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have a wonderful dating life. I cannot predict what will happen years from now, and dating is hard enough without concerns about the future dictating my choices. I won’t let my gene-positive status or fears that I might start exhibiting symptoms in a few years or 30 stop me from applying for an exciting job.

I’m only 22, but I’ve known many people who have died long before they should. For that reason among others, I am living so that regardless of when my time comes, at my funeral, they will say that I lived fully.

While I try to be in bed at 10 p.m. on weekdays, my current boyfriend had thought that I was much more adventurous than I am, because I have a try-anything personality. I realize that an experimental person who impulsively adopts a kitten or collects tattoos isn’t for everyone.

What I’m trying to say is that we can pretend that we’re living in a world where Huntington’s doesn’t exist, even if it’s just for one decision. I know that world is the one we wish we lived in now.


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Chris Comish serves as the Publisher of the website, and is responsible for directing the editorial focus as well as putting the finishing touches on many featured articles.