Christian Fellowship Raises $600 for HD Victim

The Andover Christian Fellowship (ACF) raised $600 in Uncommons last week to support Brian, a sixteen-year-old diagnosed with Juvenile Huntington’s Disease (HD).?Last Friday, at the end of an ACF meeting, Lorenzo Conte ’12 asked members if they could all say a prayer for his friend Brian from New Hampshire. ?When the board members of ACF, Jane Thomas ’10, Jinzi Zhang ’11, Matt Appleby ’11 and Chelsea Carlson ’09, heard about Brian, they wanted to do something more than pray. ?Juvenile HD is a fatal, genetic brain disorder that causes difficulty of movement, dementia and behavioral disturbances.?Brian was diagnosed with Juvenile HD in second grade. His father and grandfather both passed away from HD.?Brenda, Brian’s mother, Brenda cannot afford to pay for heating and Brian’s medical costs that insurance does not cover, according to ACF.?“[Hearing about Brian’s condition] was saddening. We all thought we should do something to help,” said Appleby.?ACF set a goal to make $500 by the following Friday and received permission from Chad Green, West Quad North Dean, to fundraise on Quad Day.?“I’ve never seen people find out about something that needed immediate attention and react so quickly,” said Thomas.?The following week, ACF members manned a table by the entrance of Uncommons surrounded by signs saying “Help Us Help Brian.” Many students made donations and wrote letters to Brian to cheer him up.?“The money is obviously more practical, but the letters enhanced his quality of life,” said Thomas.?Conte also created a DVD of well wishes from ACF members.?“Sometimes students would spontaneously sit with us and help,” said Thomas.?Conte said, “What really surprised me was how ‘non sibi’ the school was. People would come, and they wouldn’t know much about Brian, but they were so sympathetic and compassionate.”?Zhang said, “It was really inspiring to see the whole school come together. [Raising] $600 isn’t easy, but people really cared and wrote the nicest notes. Most of us don’t know Brian, but you can feel the love and compassion.”?“Students really helped, whether [they] brought in [spare change] or twenty dollars,” added Conte.?Jennifer Miao ’10 said, “You feel more connected to the cause. You know where your money is going to go and you know it is going to make a difference.”