September 9, 2018 6:34 pm

Hundreds hit the racetrack to raise funds for the Huntington Society of Canada

More than $20,000 was raised from Sunday's Indy Go-Kart Challenge.

Nikki Jhutti/Global News
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Hundreds of Winnipeggers’ engines were revving to help raise funds for the Huntington Society of Canada.

In support of the organization, local chapters host their own annual Indy Go-Kart Challenge.

The Winnipeg chapter held its competition Sunday at Thunder Rapids Fun Park in Headingley, Manitoba.

Teams of six went head-to-head, vying for top spot while raising money to help find a cure for Huntington disease.

“It’s a fun, family event, geared for all ages,” said Winnipeg chapter president Vern Barrett.


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Huntington disease is a debilitating brain disorder that is fatal and incurable.

As the disease progresses, those affected become less able to manage movements, recall events, make decisions and control emotions.

“It’s kind of like having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s all together,” Barrett explained.

“It’s genetic. If your parents have it there’s a 50 per cent chance you’ll have it.”

READ MORE: “Huntington Disease is known as the cruelest disease known to man.”

According to the Huntington Society of Canada, about one in every 7,000 Canadians have the disease, and approximately one in every 5,500 is at risk of developing it.

“It’s a terrible disease that destroys families and results in people not being able to lead a full life, and their families and their children suffering along with them,” Barrett said.

That, he added, is why money is needed to help fund cutting-edge research in trying to find a cure.

WATCH: Indy Go-Kart Challenge raising funds for Huntington disease

“We’re at a really pivotal point right now in the Huntington community,” explained Annie Vanexem, manager of chapter development. “There’s a lot of really great research going on, great clinical trials, but we need the funds that these volunteers in these communities are raising to support that.”

More than $20,000 was raised during the Winnipeg Indy Go-Kart Challenges. Races were also held in Prince Edward Island and in Windsor, Ontario, Sunday.

“The nice thing is for folks with Huntington Disease who may be having a bit of mobility challenges, there’s no issue in getting in one of these carts, and of course anyone in the family can partake in it,” Vanexem said.

“Because of events like this, we’ve been able to raise, in the past year, over $1.4 million dollars for research and support services.”

READ MORE: Family speaks out about Huntington disease

The Huntington’s Indy Go-Kart Challenge started in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1996.

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