PRO officials and support staff came together at their latest virtual camp this week to pledge their backing for Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s (HDSA) drive to increase awareness of the fight against Huntington’s Disease.
This May, officials may not be able to wear blue HD wristbands on the field in honor of former referee and colleague Terry Vaughn, but they are doing all they can to help an important cause.
Born and raised in Mount Vernon, Iowa, Terry learned he had the gene that causes HD when he was 30 but never let his fight with Huntington’s disease prevent him from achieving his goal to be one of the top officials in the United States.
His refereeing career was one that took him to many places, meeting many people. A representative of U.S. Soccer from 1987 to 2012, he has been a friend, mentor and referee to thousands of people in the game.
Terry was on the FIFA panel for nine years and worked international tournaments, including the 2007 U20s World Cup in Canada, refereed in the CONCACAF Champions League and worked college games for more than 20 years. He is also proudly included in the NISOA Hall of Fame.
Huntington’s disease is an incurable, hereditary brain disorder. It is a devastating disease for which there is currently no effective treatment.
Current medications only attack the symptoms, rather than the underlying issues of Huntington’s Disease, in which nerve cells become damaged, causing various parts of the brain to deteriorate.
The disease affects movement, behavior and cognition – the individuals’ abilities to walk, think, reason and talk are gradually eroded to such a point that they eventually become entirely reliant on other people for their care.
Huntington’s disease has a major emotional, mental, social and economic impact on the lives of patients, as well as their families.
Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #LetsTalkAboutHD.