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Alternative Stages of HD


As an alternative to those stages of HD that are based on scales that rate the progression of HD, here's a set of stages that Jimmy Pollard observed when talking with many people with HD. They're stated in positive terms and are from the point of view of the person with HD. They are in order of their observation as HD progresses.


The alternative stages, each accompanied by a representative quote
below, are:

  • Defiance
  • Perseverance
  • Compassion
  • Stamina
  • Grace


"I'm not denying the diagnosis, I'm defying the verdict!" I'm not refusing to accept it; I'm just boldly resisting the inevitable!"


"I'm continuing spite of all the difficulties this damn disease puts in front of me."


"I'm sorry for the trouble I'm causing my family and everyone else who cares for me. I wish I could do something to help them."


"I'm not sure just what it is but something keeps me going! It keeps me going through all my fatigue and all the problems and hardship this damn disease presents me."


"I've quietly resigned myself to needing others to care for me, to sustain me. I can't show them, but I'm more concerned for the welfare of those around me than I am for myself. We know we're there for each other."

Author: Jimmy Pollard Lowell, Massachusetts 01852, USA Email:
Adapted from Anatomy of an Illness, a wonderful book by the late Norman Cousins.