As the country of Venezuela spins out of control and people run out of food and medication, the most significant communities affected by Huntington's disease in Maracaibo are starving. According to our friend and collaborator Dr. Ernesto Solis, a resident of Maracaibo and a tireless advocate of the families affected by HD there, people often times go without eating at all. Normally, they might get a meal a day. The conditions in these 'clusters', famous because of their contributions during many years to science, is shameful.
For the last couple of years, we were not able to provide any assistance as getting goods and money to Venezuela through international corporate donations has been an issue.
We tried shipping things by road from Colombia, but the Venezuelan government imposed restrictions on shipments and they closed the border, to avoid people leaving the country.
However, it occurred to us that maybe via Spain we could get help. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the Barcelona association of patients UEFH (Union de Enfermos y Familiares de Huntington; see link to their Facebook page HERE), led by two remarkable women, Judit Serra and her mother Montserrat, they raised money and wired it to Maracaibo with the help of Dr. Solis.
Below are some of the pictures sent to us by Dr. Solis as the donations made their way to San Luis and Barranquitas.
THANK YOU to UEFH, to Ernesto and to Zulay Finol Romero, a sociologist leading the Venezuelan association in the Zulia district.
Thank you for their help, their perseverance and their spirit of solidarity with those most in need.
We must continue to try to help against all odds. They need our help, more than any other place affected by HD in the world.
Other patient associations can do the same- just contact us or UEFH to channel your donations directly to Maracaibo.
Together - we should stop these people from dying in misery and oblivion. We owe them, and they need us.