For Jude and Patrick, the Race to Save More Families and More Hearts was a way to raise awareness and connect as cousins. “I think it's helped us get closer and it's really been nice,” says Jude.
“We're raising the amount of distance between me and Patrick”
The teenage boys are both affected by familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Jude’s mom, Allison, is a Family Heart Foundation Advocate and a member of the Board of Directors. So, Jude and Patrick decided to use their Race to shine a spotlight on how far we have to go.
“We're raising the amount of distance between me and Patrick,” says Jude, “Which is about 1500 kilometers. We did meet that goal so now we're trying to make it a round trip and doubling our goal.”
“My best friend has it.”
The boys have grown up with FH as a part of their everyday lives. “My best friend has it. My dad has it. My grandpa has it. My aunt has it,” says Patrick. In fact, that best friend wouldn’t know he had FH if it weren’t for Patrick.
“In third grade I did a bake sale fundraiser for a school project and my friend showed up to it. After that he decided to go to the doctor to see if he had it. It turned out he had abnormally high cholesterol, and now he’s on medication to bring it down,” says Patrick.
“I’ve met well over 200 people in my life.”
And Jude has committed to telling his friends and community about it, too. “Seventy percent of people don't know have it. And raising awareness saves lives. Through my advocacy people have learned about it. I have friends that had no idea what it was until I wrote about it in the paper.”
“I know 1 in 200 people have FH,” says Patrick, “and I’ve met well over 200 people in my life and well under one in 200 of them have said they had FH. So, I feel like it's important to raise awareness to make sure everyone gets tested.”
You can donate to Jude and Patrick’s race here.