Battling illness to back charity

Chase and Kirstine McDaniel
Chase and Kirstine McDaniel

An inspirational Newthorpe couple who first met on a Christian dating website eight years, have defied serious illnesses and family trauma to champion a charity that is close to their hearts.

Kirstine McDaniel and her husband Chase, who moved from California in America to Nottingham to confirm his commitment to the woman he met on line, are actively involved in raising funds to support the Huntington’s Disease Association charity.

The couple, who live in Violet Avenue, have raised thousands of pounds for the charity and their latest efforts, a fundraising fair, which took place at the Plumptre Hall in Eastwood, brought in a further £600 for their cause.

Life has been no picnic for Kirstine, whose father Donald Ballinger carried the Huntington Disease gene which has been inherited by her twin sister Fiona and their siblings Heather and Emma, who have consequently suffered from the hereditary condition.

To add to Kirstine’s plight, her husband Chase suffered a major stroke which has had a massive effect on his usually busy lifestyle.

Despite their unenviable worries and woes, the devoted couple have faced up to life’s problems with a positive attitude and their strong faith in God is helping them to cope each day as it comes.

Kirstine was a leading administrator for the Christian charity Word of Life before having to give up work to look after her mum Anne and their family.

Friends and supporters of Kirstine and Chase, who are members at Eastwood’s St.Mary’s Parish Church, gave them their full backing at their charity event, by manning stalls and helping them to promote the work of the Huntington’s Disease Association.

Stalls selling cards, books, jewellery, artwork, bric-a-brac, knitted goods, toiletries, and cakes, were well supported, while nail art and face and body artistry contributed to its success.

“ Chase and I are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported our efforts for the Huntington’s Disease Association charity which does such tremendous work,” said Kirstine.

“ Until you are affected by the disease like my family is, nobody knows of the trauma and lasting effect it has on everyone in the family. I am the lucky one for I have three sisters who have all contracted the illness through no fault of their own.

“We take each day as it comes and with God’s love and support we are coping well,” said Kirstine.

Her husband Chase ,who until his stroke was a talented musician and was very active is very much restricted as to what he can do. Nevertheless he is very supportive of Kirstine and her family and despite all the problems in their lives he still regards himself as “ one lucky man”.

“I met the love of my life by chance and together we are making the most of the opportunities that come our way and our determination and strong Christian spirit is playing a big part in our lives.” he said.

Huntington’s Disease is a hereditary condition which is marked by regeneration of the brain cells and causing chorea and progressive dementia.

It is named after an American neurologist who first described the disease..

To support Kirstine and Chase’s work with the Association or to donate to the cause contact her on 07738415058.