HDYO Hot Seat – Judit
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February 28, 2016
Judit from Spain is the young person in the HDYO Hot Seat this month!
Name: Judit Sánchez Serra
Role at HDYO: I am a youth advocate asymptomatic carriers and people affected by Huntington’s disease , defending and fighting for their rights , and helping them by showing them the ways to have an active , healthy and positive lifestyle in order to delay the HD symptoms.
Where did you grow up? tell us something interesting about the place?
I grow up in Badalona. It is located in the comarca of the Barcelonès, joined to Barcelona and part of its metropolitan area. It is situated on the left bank of the small Besòs River and on the Mediterranean Sea, backed by the Serra de la Marina mountain range. Badalona is the third most-populated municipality in Catalonia after Barcelona and L'Hospitalet de Llobregat.
Badalona was one of the most important towns during the Spanish industrialization process, from the 19th century onwards.
Today, Badalona is in the middle of a process of major urban change which will provide one of the challenges for the 21st century.
What is the happiest moment of your life?
I don’t have one yet, I guess the happiest moment of my life is gonna be when a cure for huntington’s disease appear.
Can you tell us your story about Huntington’s?
My life changed so much by a result of a genetic test. Was a quite a blow to me. A blow that affected my father, and therefore consequently to me. My father has Huntington’s disease. A progressive, inherited, degenerative brain disorder that produces physical, mental and emotional changes. Huntington’s Disease affects someone’s ability to think, talk and move by destroying cells in the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that controls these capacities. Caused by a gene mutation that leads to a toxic accumulation of protein in the brain, Huntington’s is inherited from either one or both parents.
After hearing such a bad news, I was informed that each child of a parent with HD has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. Without hardly realizing about it, my life took a 180 degree turn when I was informed that the genetic test to which I submitted, was positive.
There is no cure for Huntington disease.
Since then, my life and I let to be themselves by adopting new values and concerns. There have been so many days that I thought life was not worth it, a long time to accepting the reality and recognize what I was living. Until finally that day arrived, that day which beats all those that were dark. That day that you put your mind in order to go back to believing in yourself and start over.
What made you want to get involved with the HD community?
My starting point was the willpower to fight for a good cause, to help getting a cure for this disease, and for sharing with you through this blog my knowledge and experience. Something valuable the human being has is the ability to overcome ourselves being courageous. And what a best proof is wanting to surpass yourself setting on new challenges and goals to fight.
My challenge is helping others to make healthy lifestyle choices, inspire and motivating them to change their behaviour about exercise and nutrition. Is not only just about to inspire them to do a sport, it is more than that, is about becoming passionate about practicing a sport, achieve goals through discipline and perseverance. I don’t want to convince people how good is running for you, which is the one I do, what I want is to show by example, by showing them that is not about how many km you did, what matters is about how you feel, the feeling of freedom and welfare that gives to you.
I have to say that I take very seriously having a healthy lifestyle and practising sport almost every day because for me is like a guarantee to prevent other diseases and to slow the progression of Huntington’s disease.
Can you tell us what you do for Huntington’s by social media?
A created an active, healthy and positive place for anyone who needs a lifestyle advisor, especially people impact by HD or any other disease.
How is Christmas for you?
Christmas for me is a season to spend time with people you love, nothing related with presents, just spending quality time with family and friends, nothing else.
What would we find you doing when you’re not volunteering for hdyo?
Travelling around the world
What is your passion for food, like?
Love healthy food, I am vegan so, I don’t eat any meat or fish.
Love cooking vegan cakes, my favourite one is carrot cake. And I love zuccini pasta with dried tomato dressing, so yummy!
What motivates you?
What really motivates me right now is persuade, inspire people to change their lifestyle to a healthier one. And if they don’t believe me, I like to show them what exercise and nutrition did for me, is a good prove!
Let’s pretend your the president of the entire world for a day what would you do?
Oh my god! No more poor people, and I would like to create a huge place for all that animals are abandoned
What’s your message to young people impacted by Huntington’s disease?
Talk about Huntington in a natural way. Having a disease is part of life, we don’t have to feel ashamed.
I would like to make see people affected by HD that we can discover another Huntington face, a one that can be positive.
Huntington make us stronger and discover our real and true values and passions.
I want to make people see that with Huntington’s disease we can live, taste and feel with quality because we know how much important is health and time.
News Team Reporter