Carlos Calvillo was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease when he was just eight years old. Huntington’s Disease is an inherited, progressively degenerative brain disorder that results in a loss of both mental faculties and physical control. In the last few years, his life has changed drastically. He went from running around like any other kid to now using a power wheelchair, from eating his favorite foods to having a feeding tube. His speech is starting to be affected, so he now relies on a voice output device to help him talk. But despite all of these changes, Carlos does not complain or let it get him down. He still loves to tell jokes and always has a smile for everyone he meets.
He notices the changes and challenges as they begin to make themselves present, but never questions them. He just goes with it and deals with them as they become more difficult. Carlos is such a positive young man and an inspiration to all. Although he might not be aware of exactly what exactly Huntington’s Disease is or what the outcome will be, he is aware of everything he has gone through personally. Many people could learn a few things from this amazing 12-year-old young man – how there is always something positive in every situation and to never question why something could or would ever happen to you.
Because the courage of Carlos and his family is so inspiring to others, Carlos was the recipient of the Community Health Charities of Texas 2011 Hope in Action Award. He was nominated by the Texas Chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
While there is still no cure for Huntington’s Disease, today there is more hope than ever that we can beat this disease. Until then, local chapters of Huntington’s Disease Society of America are striving to provide support and sustenance to Carlos and other Huntington’s Disease families – knowing that while research provides hope for the future, they must provide care for the Huntington’s Disease community today. Huntington’s Disease patients and families, such as Carlos and his family, have become an active community, educating themselves, sharing information and advocating for themselves and their loved ones.
To learn more about Huntington’s Disease, please visit www.hdsa.org.