Actor Jason Ritter hosted a charity event at Mack Sennett Studios Saturday night to raise awareness and fund support to find a cure for Huntington’s Disease. Attendees were welcomed with a silent auction, live art creation, dancers, and more.
But what really made it a unique experience was a screening of Lucy Walker’s Sundance short documentary “The Lion’s Mouth Opens,” a deeply personal and raw story of the moments leading up to actress Marianna Palka’s positive diagnosis of carrying the defective HD gene mutation. The film was so powerful that halfway through one woman watching it passed out and grabbed me on her way to the floor.
It’s amazing to see how Palka’s friends Jason Ritter and Bryce Dallas Howard, who are both in the film sharing moments with her, were able to put together an event for a disease that could very well take her friend away from them within the next decade.
Since the discovery of the gene that causes Huntington’s Disease, scientific research has accelerated and much has been added to our understanding of the disease and its effects upon different individuals. By continuing to increase investment in both clinical and basic Huntington’s Disease research each year, breakthroughs in treatment – and a cure – can be forthcoming.
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Photo: Jason Ritter and Marianna Palka on stage after the screening of “The Lion’s Mouth Opens”