CLEVELAND (WJW) — A local couple is sharing their own family’s journey with Huntington’s disease in hopes of helping others battling the illness.
Former FOX 8 personality and current TNT broadcaster Allie LaForce and her husband, former Cleveland Indian and current Houston Astros player Joe Smith, have it all. The couple has blossoming careers, adoring love for each other, and a loving and supportive family. But sadly, a part of that family involves Huntington’s disease (HD).
HD is a rare, inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. A child has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the debilitating disease.
Joe’s mom, Lee, was diagnosed with HD in 2012. The disease had claimed her mother’s life years before.
Joe took time away from baseball last season to return home to be with his mom and family. Lee passed away in august.
As a search for a cure for HD continues, some couples are torn starting a family knowing they could pass on this disease to their children. And, now a medical breakthrough called preimplantation genetic diagnosis or PGD is being called a miracle.
Allie has been documenting their in vitro fertilization and PGD journey on her social media.
The couple also started a foundation in hopes of helping other families in the same situation.
Watch the video above for a complete look at Joe and Allie’s story.