Imagine learning that a loved one is afflicted with a disease you've never hear of, but one that will gradually take that loved one from you.
That story is being played out daily in Estill County.
Ken Moore is retired from the military and now spends most of his time seeing to the needs of his wife, who suffers from Huntington's Disease.
Mr. Moore tells 27 NEWSFIRST, "Huntington's is a hereditary genetic disorder. The only way you can get it is to inherit it, a brain disorder. Three weeks ago actually, the FDA approved the first drug ever to treat the chorea part of Huntington's. Chorea is the involuntary movements and the audibles. It's terminal. Right now, there is no cure."
Angel Lucas married Ken Moore almost 8 years ago. Now, whenever he asks her how she's feeling or if she needs anything, her answer is always the same.
Ken Lucas says, "It's always 'I'm fine.' I think Miss Angel could be sitting out in the sun in 110 degree heat and nothing to drink all day, but ask her if she needs anything, and she'll say she's fine. You'd think that somebody who has this and knows what lies ahead would be always depressed and moody. Miss Angel is always worried about everybody else and how they're feeling."
Two years ago, Ken started a support group in Winchester for those with Huntington's and their care givers and works tirelessly to increase awareness of their special needs.
He says, "Miss Angel's intake is 8,000 calories a day to maintain her weight. Consequently, our food bill is the equivalent of a family of five. We pay everything out of our pocket which really straps you sometimes."
Ken says Angel looks at everything with childlike wonder and inspires others to appreciate the beauty around them.
"She can walk and see a flower, hummingbirds, any animal. Everything is fascinating to her. She just really opens your eyes up to a lot of things around you," Ken said.
Angel's mother and grandmother both died of Huntington's, and she has a brother and a sister confined to nursing homes with it, so she considers herself lucky to have a dedicated care giver like Ken.
She says, "He does everything for me. He does all the cleaning, the mopping. He does everything outside and inside."
But Ken isn't ready to give up any of his burden. He says with a tear in his eye, "I just can't imagine life without her right now."
And regardless of what the future brings, Ken Moore feels blessed to have had an angel by his side.
Huntington's disease is most often diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50.
To learn more, call the toll free Huntington's hot line at 1-800-784-3721