While still in its infancy, WeHaveAFace Canada has grown up fast. Officially, WHAF Canada has been in existence for only two years but has emerged as a slick machine under the watchful guidance of our President, Cindy Moore.
WHAF Canada is proud to be a part of the international WeHaveAFace organization and is modeled after the parent organization, WeHaveAFace Global HUBS USA with a focus on awareness through education, advocacy for HD/JHD patients, families and caregivers, as well as supporting research for HD and helping families in need, while maintaining our pledge of being driven by 100% volunteer participation. No one, including our board members, reap any financial reward from donations.
To date, WHAF Canada has operated and thrived while doing so completely from fundraising activities and private donations.
Our message has been one of openness, hard work and most importantly...hope, not just within Canada but around the globe.
Support for Research
In our first year of operation as a licensed charity in Canada we chose the Dr. Blair Leavitt lab at the University of British Columbia to be the recipient of funds raised by our organization due to his focus on research for Huntington's Disease.
According to his bio,
My laboratory develops new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease. We do this by first developing transgenic mouse models of specific human diseases, and then by testing new disease treatments in these mouse models. The YAC128 mouse model of Huntington’s disease accurately replicates the changes seen in humans with this disease, and is a critical tool that permits my laboratory to evaluate new treatment strategies in mice prior to undertaking large-scale clinical trials in human patients.
These funds were able to provide a student researcher during the summer months to assist Dr. Leavitt's team and also provide experience to the student.
Helping Families in Crisis
Knowing how large this undertaking is, we cannot overstate the importance of maintaining the effort to attempt to alleviate burdens that HD/JHD can inflict upon families dealing with loved one stricken by this terrible disease. Too often financial difficulties accompany illness and those with HD are no strangers to these difficulties. While we cannot, due to privacy, talk about individual cases, we can say that our assistance fund has helped many people across Canada cope with issues ranging from added stresses during the holidays to dealing with expenses related to the loss of a loved one. 2019 was particularly difficult to meet the needs of those families in crisis and help from the public is desperately needed and appreciated. If you would like to donate to our assistance fund or to research, you can do so by visiting our website.
Canada Walks For a Cure
Held annually in Brockville, Ontario, the event is our jewel in our crown and is no longer considered to be a "walk". Instead it has grown, and has become a parade, complete with music, dancers, along with The GhostBusters and many supporters who walk the 5k through the downtown of Brockville, escorted by the Brockville police. The parade will soon have its 5th anniversary in the summer of 2020.
For its 4th year, WHAF Canada decided to push the bar even higher by taking the walk to a national level and introduced an ambitious Walk for a Cure in Nova Scotia, led by Vice President, Kevin Jess who held a walk simultaneously with the Brockville parade.
The Nova Scotia walk was a brutal 14k walk to Cape Split, a Nova Scotia natural landmark featuring towering, rocky cliffs and of course the highest tides in the world.
Light it up Blue and Purple
Every year, WHAF Canada has arranged with Niagara Falls to have the falls lit up blue and purple at some point during the month of May, HD/JHD awareness month. We are proud to announce that this will happen again this year on May 20.
HD3 training is one of our top priorities for Canada in 2020 and is now being edited for Canada and proposals being developed for accreditation in Nova Scotia, where it will be piloted before expanding to other provinces.
The project is being headed by Vice President Kevin Jess
as well as Dr. Susan Potter, Professional Advisor for WHAF Canada.
Doctor Susan Potter has her Ph.D. in psychology and is a retired professor from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She studied clinical psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
In 2019, WeHaveAVoice Radio grew into one of the most listened to radio programs for HD/JHD. The radio show is now broadcast across iHeartRadio and many other top-tier media platforms. As of January 2020, I am proud to announce that WeHaveAFace has independent ownership and operation of WeHaveAVoice Radio via private funding.
*WHAF thanks Mrs. Hella Lange of Germany for her generous donation.
*Visit: www.WeHaveAFace.org/Radio for more information about our radio show.
WeHaveAFace Canada has been aggressive in its fundraising efforts from day one with fundraisers ranging from car washes to murder mystery dinners and ladies nights to mention just a few. These fundraisers, and more are now being planned for 2020 and beyond.
As stated earlier, our organization has solely been dependent on our own fundraising activities and private donations. However, in order to expand our support groups across such a large country as Canada we are now about to approach the business sector for funding such programs as support groups as well as educational funding. Developing proposals are in progress that will be sent to TEVA Canada to name one. Nothing is definite but we remain hopeful that they will see us for the heart that we have as well as the hard work we put into maintaining our organization that helps so many.