The Rockford IceHogs traded ice skates for bowling shoes with fans on Saturday for the eighth annual Bowl-A-Thon at Cherry Bowl.
IceHogs players, coaches and team personnel will bowl with fans and raise money for the IceHogs Charitable Foundation. A portion of the afternoon’s proceeds benefit Families with HD Rooted in Hope, Inc, a nonprofit foundation that provides support and services to families affected by Huntington’s Disease.
Families with HD Rooted in Hope was founded and is supported by IceHogs captain Jake Dowell, and Jake’s mother, Vicki. Jake lost his father, John, to Huntington’s Disease in 2014, and his older brother, Luke, is currently battling HD. Jake received news in December, 2015 that he does not carry the gene affected by Huntington’s Disease.
HD is a fatal, incurable genetic disorder that progressively breaks down the nerve cells in the brain, deteriorating a person’s physical and mental functioning. The disease is passed genetically, with children of affected parents having a 50-50 chance of also receiving the faulty gene that causes the disease.
The nonprofit organization seeks to assist families in understanding Huntington’s Disease and ways to live through HD with courage, hope and love, provide guidance to young couples as they consider options related to having children and support them in their decisions, and partner with organizations dedicated to assisting HD families live normal lives to the extent feasible.