While events across Cape Ann are being canceled left and right due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, walking for a good cause is still on. It will just look a bit different this year.

At the end of the month, the New England Region of the Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) will be hosting the Gloucester Team Hope Walk virtually.

"Each year, North Shore families gather at Stage Fort Park to walk along Stacy Boulevard for the annual HDSA Gloucester Team Hope Walk," said Virginia Goolkasian, HDSA's New England regional development director. "In order to stay safe, we will do a virtual walk joining hundreds of people from the Huntington's Disease community in Massachusetts to raise funds and awareness for the Huntington's Disease Society fo America."

In this year's walk, participants will create their own course: through their driveway, around their neighborhood, house, or even on the treadmill. 

"Whether you walk around the block, the neighborhood or do a 1K run up and down your street,when, where and how far you walk is up to you," according to HDSA's New England Region's website. "We are walking together all over the state on Saturday, May 30, 2020."

Goolkasian admitted that the HDSA isn't expecting the same amount of money to come in this year due to the the rise in unemployment rates, but every bit counts. 

"It is a nice way for people to stay safe and raise the funds," she said. 

Whether together or apart on the day of the event, walkers are all taking a step towards improving the lives of people affected by Huntington's Disease (HD) and their families. 

HD is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person's physical and mental abilities, usually during their prime working years and, as of 2020, has no cure. 

Team Hope is HDSA's largest national grassroots fundraising event, which takes place in over 100 cities across the U.S. and has raised more than $14 million for HD since its inception in 2007. 

As of Wednesday, the New England Region has raised $4,848 out of a $16,600 goal. 

While the event is free, registration and donation links can be found online at https://newenglandreg.hdsa.org/about/2020-gloucester-team-hope-walk.

Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or tbradford@gloucestertimes.com.

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