'Drumming Up Awareness' for Huntington's disease
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - South Bend native--and professional drummer--Trey Gray is 'drumming up awareness' for Huntington's disease, which he is currently battling. Friday night, he hosted his foundation's first event ever at Vegetable Buddies in South Bend.
Huntington's disease is a rare genetic brain disorder that eventually cripples mental and motor functions.
Gray's team had already raised about $25,000 before they even opened the doors, and they're expecting to reach at least $4,000.
Trey Gray has held down the beat for some of the greats, like Faith Hill, Jewel, Brooks and Dunn, and most recently, Reba McEntire.
“I just got back like two hour ago with Reba’s new tour, so I was just in Nashville a couple of weeks, so I’m still doing it," said Gray.
He says the most important stage he's graced, though, is his platform for Huntington's disease.
“My mother and uncle were diagnosed in 2002, and then I was diagnosed shortly thereafter in 2003," he said.
“It’s like having Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS all wrapped up together, so every day for me is different. Some days I may be out of balance. Some days I may not remember who I am. Some days I just can’t move, and we’re all experiencing that.," said Gray.
Once he watched his uncle die in 2006, and then his mother died in 2014, he decided it was time to 'drum up awareness' and money to find a cure.
“I really wanted to give money somehow, and I was fortunate enough to have this voice and to travel all over the worldand to meet great people...and I think that’s why the big guy blessed me with all these opportunities. And so I started a foundation," said Gray.
He partnered with Vanderbilt University in 2014, and now, he says the cure is on the horizon.
“I hope people find some inspiration in this," he said.
He says other folks fighting the disease inspire him.
“They need my hugs. They need me. I need them. It’s very important to me," he said.
For more information about Huntington's disease, click here.