Her friend died of Huntington's disease last year so Heather Chalmers has organized the Prince George Run For Lor, set for Sunday at Masich Place Stadium, on the one-year anniversary of her death.
Lorelei Dale, born and raised in Prince George, was 34 when she died last September 23.
"The main thing for us is for people to be aware of Huntington's Disease," Chalmers said.
"I knew Lor since I was six and I knew she was sick and I knew it was a fatal illness," she continued with a tremor in her voice. "When you find out you've got Huntington's it's not a matter of will this kill me, it's when. When is my body going to shut down? When is it going to end my life? There's no cure at this point in time and so I don't even think it's a matter of trying to find a cure. It's mainly being aware of what people with Huntington's go through and what their families go through."
There's just not enough attention drawn to Huntington's and there's not a lot of awareness, she added.
"People keep asking me what it is," said Chalmers. "It is a fatal hereditary brain disorder. (The disease is in Lorelei's father's family.) It's like having Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and schizophrenia all at the same time. Lor died because the disease shut her body down. It affects all your motor functions, your ability to eat, to breathe and your brain deteriorates to the point where it can't do anything else and your body can't survive."
Karen McDougall is Lorelei's mom, now living in Duncan on Vancouver Island, and will be coming to Prince George especially to attend the event, along with daughter Angie, Lorelei's 37-year-old sister.
"Lorelei - Lor - had an amazing sense of humour and made all those around her laugh," said McDougall. "She loved her family and friends dearly. Lor suffered her disease with a strength that most of us never see. She did not share her pain either physically or mentally with us. Instead she always gave us smiles and told us she was doing just fine."
There is an information session Saturday at the Bob Harkins branch of the Prince George Library
in the Keith Gordon room at 3 p.m. Heather Chalmers and Pamela Blackmore, coordinator of national events and chapter development of the Huntington Society of Canada will speak.
Join the 1 or 5 km walk or run at Masich Place Stadium. Registration is at 11 a.m. and the event begins 11:30. The event is wheelchair accessible and everyone is welcome.
For more information about the walk visit http://www.teamhd.ca.