Strides for CJD Brings Awareness to Rare Neurodegenerative Disease

SOMERVILLE, MA, On Saturday, October 6, supporters of those affected by Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) will gather at Seven Hills Park, Davis Square, Somerville, MA, along the Somerville Community Path, for Strides for CJD, a 5K walk.  The event will allow families to pay tribute to their loved ones and raise awareness of CJD, a rare neurodegenerative disease that has no treatment or cure.

CJD is caused by “prions,” proteins that can misfold in the brain, with devastating effects, including rapid mental and physical deterioration. CJD is the most common of the “prion diseases.”  Prion diseases are invariably fatal.

“We expect more than 2,000 people around the U.S. to participate, including many in Somerville,” said Debbie Yobs, CJD Foundation President.  “The funds raised will provide vital assistance for our family support, medical education, and research programs.  Participants in Strides for CJD also raise awareness of prion diseases like CJD in their communities and through social media,” she added.

Strides for CJD will include a 5K walk starting at 9:30 a.m.  The event will feature raffles, music, games, and other activities.  Adult registration is $30 until September 7, and raffle tickets will be available at the site.  Walkers and donors can register at www.strides4cjd.com.  Event day registration starts at 8:30 a.m.

Strides for CJD events will also be held that week in Atlanta; Beverly Hills; Charleston, West Virginia; Chicago; Cleveland; Denver; Joppatowne, Maryland; Minneapolis; Morris County, NJ; Pittsburgh; Scottsdale, Arizona; Seattle; and Wausau, Wisconsin.  In addition, many will participate as individuals and small groups across the country and will post pictures on social media with hashtags #CureCJD and #Strides4CJD to raise awareness of the disease.

“CJD advances at a rapid pace and is difficult to diagnose,” said Debbie Yobs.  “It is crucial that we educate medical professionals about the disease, raise awareness, provide family support, and trigger much more research – and Strides for CJD helps with all of those missions,” she said.

Last year, the first Strides for CJD Boston gathered over 50 individuals and raised over $11,000 for the CJD Foundation. “With the help of some amazing volunteers, we started the first Strides for CJD Boston in 2017. The cause is particularly close to my heart having lost my mother to a prion disease in 2015,” said Somerville resident and Strides for CJD Boston captain Victoria Ellis. “It was amazing to see such a fantastic turnout for our first Strides event in the greater Boston area, and to receive so much support from the community through donations from local businesses. We’re excited to return to Davis Square this fall as we continue to raise awareness for CJD.”

Proceeds will support the CJD Foundation’s General Fund, which supports medical education, family support, and research programs.  To register or sponsor, visit www.strides4cjd.com or www.cjdfoundation.org.

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About the CJD Foundation

The CJD Foundation provides support for families affected by prion disease.  Programs include research grants, a seven-day HelpLine, family support groups, medical education, and an annual conference for families and scientists.  For more information, call 800659-1991 or help@cjdfoundation.org.

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