Advocates inform concertgoers about the affliction that killed Woody Guthrie: Huntington's Disease

07/17/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:


The hereditary brain disorder known as Huntington ’s Disease afflicts about 1 in every 10,000 people in the U.S. That’s according to the Huntington ’s Disease Society of America.

Local representatives passed out information about medical research and genetic testing for Huntington’s at last Saturday’s Woody Guthrie 100th birthday celebration hosted by WMNF.

n the 1960s, Guthrie died of complications resulting from Huntington’s.

WMNF spoke with Marilyn McCloskey, president of the Central Florida affiliate of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America at Skipper’s Smokehouse in between music sets, so there’s a little bit of background noise.

“My name is Marilyn McCloskey, president of the Central Florida affiliate of the Huntington’s Disease.”

“What does your group do?’

“We are the Central Florida affiliate and we raise awareness and support for the Huntington’s disease from Orlando to the Tampa Bay to Gainesville down to Bradenton.”

“For people who don’t know much about Huntington’s disease tell us, what are the symptoms of the disease?”

“Actually it is a hereditary disease so 50% of those who have it, their children are affected. And it takes somebody from being normal to not being able to walk and talk until they end up dying from it.”

“Why are you at the Woody Guthrie 100th birthday tribute?”

“Well actually Woody himself died from Huntington’s as well as his mother. So we’re here supporting Woody and his family who was very involved. They have their own foundation for Huntington’s disease and we’re here just raising awareness.”

“If people want to get involved what can they do?”

“They can either contact Huntington’s disease Society of America at or they can contact myself. My email is and I would be happy to help anyone out.”

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