July 19, 2010
LOS ANGELES -
UCLA Head Men's Basketball Coach Ben Howland and his wife, Kim, have been named honorary co-chairs of the 2nd Annual HDSA LA Hoop-A-Thon. The event will take place in legendary Pauley Pavilion on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010 from 6-10 p.m. On hand will be former UCLA players Arron Afflalo, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison and Ryan Hollins as well as other former players and some surprise celebrity guests.
UCLA has partnered up with the Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) in an effort to raise money and awareness to find a cure for this devastating illness. The Hoop-A-Thon is a one-of-a-kind speed free-throw shooting contest. Prizes will be awarded to the winning teams. A team of 10 will cost $950.00 to compete.
For individuals wishing to attend the event and watch as well as mingle with current and former UCLA Basketball players, the cost will be $125.00. You will be able to sample food and spirits from some of Los Angeles' best restaurants. There will also be a silent auction with some very special and unique items. Some of the incredible prizes and silent auction items include autographed Laker shoes by Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Luke Walton, Derek Fisher, Josh Powell and Shannon Brown as well as UCLA signed memorabilia, vacations and a Luau for 20 people.
You will also be able to hear about the exciting research that takes place here at UCLA from Dr. John Mazziotta, Chairman of the UCLA Neurology Department, as well as Dr. Mike Levine and Dr. Yvette Bordeline. All proceeds from this event will go to the UCLA Center of Excellence for patient care and services as well as research for a cure of Huntington's Disease (HD).
HD directly affects Howland's family as his father-in-law, Arlo Zahnow, had Huntington's Disease.
HD is a devastating genetic disorder that causes uncontrollable body movements and deprives people of their abilities to walk, talk, eat and think rationally. This disease is currently incurable and it is fatal.
The gene that causes HD is a mutant of a normal gene. The defective gene causes chemical changes in nerve cells that damages brain structures leading to symptoms. The process that causes nerve cells to die in HD may have similarities to other, more common, disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Insights into HD may prove useful to understanding these other disorders.
Huntington's Disease is rare but that doesn't make it any less devastating. HD is a tragic reality affecting 30,000 families in America. The facts are grim for HD: There is no cure, it's fatal and because it's rare, funding for research is sparse. But there is hope. Since HD is caused by a type of genetic mutation that is shared by a host of other disorders, solving HD can lead the way to treatments, and ultimately cures for all of them.
We are closer than ever to finding a cure! We can help raise the much needed funds for research and do our part to inspire hope in those families affected by this fatal brain disorder. For more information on HD, to become a sponsor for this special event, to sign up your team or to buy individual tickets for the LA Hoop-A-Thon, please visit the HDSA LA Web site by Clicking Here.