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Rhonda’s Story

Discover how Rhonda celebrates the life of her husband, Jon, by hosting an annual fundraising event that supports scientific research grants.
Rhonda (right) and researcher Dr. Emiliano Biasini

I didn’t know at first I was going to do a fundraiser. I just thought on Jon’s angel-versary we’d get together, have a walk, remember him, people would donate and I would send the money to the CJD Foundation.

Then I went to the CJD Foundation Family Conference and learned about the research grants and made up my mind that’s what I wanted to achieve; Hunt for a Cure CJD found its purpose.

Now preparing for our third year, we have a grant that’s been awarded and a grant up for applications, and we’re striving to meet our goal for a third grant. Our Hunt for a Cure CJD 5K run/walk includes a competitive 5K run/walk with awards, a family walk, kid friendly walk/run and activities.

Last year we added the virtual walk and had 12 states join in. We also honor our CJD family with the memory table, memory lap and balloon release. We also have a band, food and raffle gift baskets. I am elated with the results!

During one of our events, I was standing at the memory table when a man came up to me and said, “Oh wow, I thought one in a million was just Jon – look at all these faces, it’s a lot more!”  That’s when I knew we did it. It’s more than a name of a disease, and it’s more than a statistic. … The faces and smiles of our participants are the impact of our work!