WeHaveAFace: Mexico

December 29, 2017

Full disclosure: It was never in our mission to expand outside of the United States. However, in our travels over the course of two years, we began to see a need for expansion.

 

During educational viewings of our first documentary - "The Huntington's Disease Project: Removing the Mask," we listened to patients and caregivers. There were gaps in education and services; in many cases, our peers wanted to join our mission. 

 

As we moved forward in early 2017, offering a robust multimedia program suite and a second documentary, we decided to create WeHaveAFace Global HUBS (Huntington's Universal Base Supports).  

 

The structure was quite simple - to created nonprofit organizations in other countries to provide an additional support network for our population. Each of these HUBS mirror the  mission and ethics policy of WeHaveAFace USA.  Driven by the desire to broaden awareness of Huntington's and Juvenile Huntington's disease, we were blessed to have amazing and professional individuals lead each of the HUBS. 

 

WeHaveAFace Canada:

- Cindy Moore (President), and Cathy Gardiner (Vice President).

 

WeHaveAFace England and Wales:

- Daniel Heath (President), and Carol Kennedy (Vice President).

 

WeHaveAFace Germany:

- Led by Dr. Herwig Lange

 

WeHaveAFace USA:

- James Valvano (President), and Ian Torrington (Vice President).

Back in 2011, our goal was to create the first of its kind documentary - "The Huntington's Disease Project: Removing the Mask" 

 

On Facebook, I announced that we were seeking video testimonies from the international community.  At that time in our history, it was extremely difficult for us to get this project off the ground. Then, to my surprise, the submissions began coming in. I was elated to see that our Mexican Huntington's disease patients were the first to participate.  To this very day, I remember that moment in time.  I felt such gratitude from our Mexican brothers and sisters. 

 

Keep that portion of history fresh in your mind.

 In 2013, I became Facebook friends with an amazing advocate - Daniel Medina, (Board Member of HD-CARE, in California).  We became very close, and each of us attended events relating to Huntington's over the course of two years. In 2016, WeHaveAFace was blessed to have Daniel speak at our first annual convention here in Saint Cloud, Florida. Daniel represented HD-CARE, and addressed the convention with the mission of the organization, and their efforts to find viable treatments for Huntington's disease.  Our friendship continued to blossom. 

 

In 2017, Daniel continued his advocacy role and joined