BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On Sunday morning supporters of those affected by Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) gathered at Lake Ming in Bakersfield for Strides for CJD, a 5K walk/run in memory of Bakersfield's 25th Mayor Harvey L. Hall.
The event allowed supporters to pay tribute to Mayor Hall and others affected by CJD and to raise awareness of CJD, a rare neurodegenerative disease that has no treatment or cure. Hall became suddenly ill in April of this year and in a few short weeks, on May 19, he succumbed to what was diagnosed as the sporadic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
23ABC spoke to Hall’s granddaughter before the walk who said the event provided a source of healing for their family, “It means a lot for me because my grandpa was always the person I looked up to in my life, I wanted to be like him and he was a friend for everyone and this says so much to me.” Harvey Hall’s granddaughter Skyler Blair said.
Hall’s wife Lavonne Hall also was at the event and was excited to be able to spread awareness about CJD, “Planning this event and talking to people and seeing the outpouring of love and people donating for me it’s just been really healing to see that.” Out of all of the 16 CJD awareness fundraisers that took place across the U.S. Bakersfield raised $60,000 towards research, education and support for families dealing with CJD. Bakersfield also raised the most out of all 16 areas.This was also the first time that this walk has ever taken place in Bakersfield.
Hall's family members were all thrilled to see the turn out and were thankful to everyone who came out support the stride towards a cure for CJD.The Halls have also been working diligently alongside the CJD Foundation ever since the passing of Hall and they say they are dedicated to finding a cure and educating as many people as they can about CJD.