Washington Post features HDF President Nancy Wexler and CEO Meghan Donaldson

Pope Francis caresses a sick woman during an audience with Huntington's disease sufferers and their families on May 18, 2017. (Andrew Medichini/AP)

“I'm ecstatic,” said Nancy Wexler, who in 1993 identified the mutation. “Huntington's is horrible, one of the worst diseases known to mankind, and certain death. . . . We know it’s a bad gene, making a bad protein, that makes people sick, that kills your brain cells. Anything that could impact that, we knew that that could be a cure.”

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