BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Since former Mayor Harvey Hall’s death from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in 2018, the community has come out year after year to show their support.
“Harvey Hall is so loved and just going out and saying I’m going to do this in his honor, do you want to help, and most people said yes before I even finished," said Lavonne Hall, Hall’s widow.
Two weeks and seven hours — that’s how long it took after former Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall’s diagnosis of CJD before he passed away. Mayor Hall was diagnosed with the rare degenerative brain disease in 2018 after his family and staff noticed him exhibiting unusual symptoms during a staff meeting.
“We’re medical providers, we’re in the business of responding to those in need of help for medical emergency and we weren’t quite sure what was going on and we’d never heard of CJD," said Mark Corum, Co-Captian for Strides for CJD Bakersfield.
“I never gave up hope but the more I read, the more I found out, it made it a little easier,” Hall said.
CJD is rapidly progressive — with no treatment or cure. Diagnosing the disease may be difficult because medical provides might mistake its symptoms for other more common illnesses.
That’s why the Strides for CJD Foundation works to raise money for research.
“They use the funds raised by these events to provide family support, funding research, and to really provide a lot of public education about the disease.”
The annual Strides for CJD walk is taking place virtually this year — with registered walkers completing the walk in their neighborhoods or local parks.
Bakersfield showing its support every year — with Hall Ambulance’s team Big H being named the top fundraising team for the fourth year in a row.
This year Bakersfield raised over 3 times the intended goal for the CJD Foundation and was named the top fundraising location in the nation.
Even though registration for today’s walk is closed, you can still donate to the cause at cjdfoundation.org.