Mum walks for daughters with Huntington's disease, after her own surgery for breast cancer

WON'T QUIT: Angela Hiscock, 53, founded the Croudace Bay Walk 4 Hope to raise money for research into Huntington's Disease. Two of her daughters have the disease. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
WON'T QUIT: Angela Hiscock, 53, founded the Croudace Bay Walk 4 Hope to raise money for research into Huntington's Disease. Two of her daughters have the disease. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

THAT Angela Hiscock underwent her last treatment for breast cancer about half a year ago can sound like a footnote to the cruelty that has piled on to her family.

September for the Hiscocks revolves around Walk 4 Hope, the fundraiser for Huntington’s Disease research in Croudace Bay that Angela launched four years ago.

It began with about 100 people and she expects 400 at Saturday’s walk through Thomas H Halton Park. Among them will be her daughters Katie, 29, and Emma, 28, who have the disease.

Mrs Hiscock had three daughters with her first husband, who didn’t find out Huntington’s ran in his family until the girls were aged 17, 14 and 13.

He tested positive, meaning the girls’ chances of having the disease were 50-50. Lee, the eldest, was tested and cleared at 18.

“I was thinking ‘yes, my genes are stronger than his’,” Mrs Hiscock, 53, of Elermore Vale, said.

“But then when my other girls’ tests came back … It’s very hard emotionally on the girls. They wake up every day and it’s the first thing they think of.”

Huntington’s Disease causes involuntary movements in its sufferers, as well as intellectual, emotional and behavioural problems.

The most obvious symptoms typically appear when a person reaches their mid-30s or 40s, and can range from trouble driving to emotional outbursts. Huntington’s sufferers usually die within 20 years of showing symptoms.

“A lot of people don’t want to know about it. It isn’t a nice disease,” Mrs Hiscock said.

“It’s a bit like Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease and dementia all rolled into one.”

Sarah is already “symptomatic” and, as Emma awaits the first of her Huntington’s symptoms, she has also recently been diagnosed with narcolepsy.

Their mother works nights at Coles so that she and her husband Dennis are free to help all five adult children by day, as well as three granddaughters and a grandson.

“Daily, you’ve just got to get on with it,” Mrs Hiscock said. 

“You’ve got to laugh at things or you’ll cry.”

Registrations for Saturday’s Walk 4 Hope open in Thomas H Halton Park near Macquarie Drive at 9am, and the walk itself will begin at 10am.