‘Punting’ for a Cure for Huntington’s

Carlos Briceño avatar

by Carlos Briceño |

Share this article:

Share article via email
Main graphic for column titled

My wife, Jill, and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last month. We like to joke that we don’t keep track of the years because it seems like yesterday when we got married. Some years, as a gift, I like to write her something romantic or funny.

This year, I decided to write her a fake news story. (The phrase “fake news” is de rigueur these days.) Jill gave me permission to share it here.

For the record, the “news story” I am sharing sprang entirely from my imagination. It is pure fiction.

Recommended Reading
Huntington's progression | Huntington's Disease News | looking closely at interlocking points

Wearing Down of Protective System in Brain May Underlie Huntington’s

I desperately want a cure for Huntington’s disease (HD). I want Jill and my daughter, Alexus, to live a life that doesn’t include battling this rare illness. I want it so much I’m willing to dream up an absurd, satirical story to will this cure to fruition.

Part therapy, part punny, what you are about to read was my sincere attempt to make my wife laugh and to help me cope with the sad knowledge that she and Alexus have this horrific disease.

***

‘Journalist Discovers Cure for Huntington’s Disease’

In a move that astounded the medical world, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved punning as a cure for Huntington’s disease, a rare, neurodegenerative, and formerly terminal illness.

“Our clinical tests repeatedly showed that constant references to puns shifted gene-positive patients’ genetic makeups so dramatically that they essentially eliminated the mutant gene,” FDA Commissioner Rob D’Pour said.

The breakthrough was the result of constant tests that Carlos Briceño, a journalist, ran on his beloved wife, Jill, who was found to be gene-positive for HD in 2018.

“I believe in the healing power of laughter,” Carlos said. “Because I used to live in Florida, which I like to call the ‘Punshine State,’ I also believe in the power of puns to not only inflict ‘punshine’ into people’s lives, but to help others heal.”

Jill said she was not a big fan of puns — at first.

“Honestly, when he uses the word ‘inflict,’ that’s correct,” she said. “I saw it as — no pun intended — punishment, because I view puns as a cheap form of non-humor.”

Carlos added that all he wanted was to punctuate their day with the same spirit that people approach Sunday as ‘Funday’ — except, in this case, every day was ‘Punday.’

Carlos was so relentless in his punning — he refers to it as being in the constant state of punting — that he wore his wife down. When she finally started to immediately laugh at his puns — he says it makes sense because she loves to be punctual — her symptoms started fading away.

“HD used to cause her eyes to move involuntarily, which is a symptom known as chorea,” Carlos said. “My puns made her roll her eyes, too. But now, when I say something like, ‘Why did the can crusher quit his job? Because it was soda pressing,’ her eyes don’t roll. She just laughs. A lot.”

Jill said she was as shocked as her husband when Carlos noticed her symptoms disappearing and attributed it to his constant punting. She then decided to channel her inner Axl Rose and go on a “Puns N’ Roses” tour; she emailed rose emojis to those who had HD and shared with them a bunch of Carlos’ favorite puns.

The email recipients reported showing significant decreases in their symptoms, which prompted Carlos to approach the FDA with his hypothesis: that puns can cure HD. The FDA contacted the local district attorney’s (DA) office to make sure Carlos and Jill were legitimate.

The couple’s public displays of affection showed they were legit, which then caused the Federal Aviation Administration to declare it was plane to see that Carlos and Jill were legitimately not only deeply in love with each other, but had, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture chimed in, farmer evidence than many studies showing proof that puns could cure HD.

Extensive studies included several professional comedians punting to HD patients so much that several of them made the rosters of NFL teams (as punters, of course). And with so many governmental agencies affirming Carlos as legit, the FDA concluded that the long sought-after cure for HD had finally arrived.

FDA Commissioner D’Pour said, “It’s safe to say that from now on, when people refer to HD, it will only be in the context of ‘high definition’ because, as Carlos has proven, puns have eliminated any reference to or association with Huntington’s.”

Clearly relishing his role as a pundit, Carlos said that he wants history books to refer to Huntington’s from now on as ‘Puntington’s disease.’

“I always knew it would take one person to develop a cure for HD,” Carlos said. “I was close; it actually took pun person.”

***

Note: Huntington’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.

Comments

Valerie McLean avatar

Valerie McLean

Hello from Alberta Canada
Thanks for the laughter. It is my birthday today and my beloved Leonard is not with me. He passed from HD last June . I miss him every day and pray one day they will find a cure. Hugs.
Valerie

Reply
Carlos Briceño avatar

Carlos Briceño

Happy belated birthday. I'm so sorry to hear that your husband is deceased. May he rest in peace. I totally understand the ache and pain you feel in missing him. Thank you for your hug. I send one to you in return.

Reply
BJ Viau avatar

BJ Viau

HAHA very punny. Enjoyable and creative read!

Reply
Carlos Briceño avatar

Carlos Briceño

Thank you, BJ! I appreciate your thoughtful comment. :)

Reply
Carlos Briceño avatar

Carlos Briceño

:)

Reply
Ben Hofmeister avatar

Ben Hofmeister

I found your very enjoyable and well written article through LinkedIn. I don't have Huntington's, mine is multiple sclerosis but like you I decided to spend the majority of my and my family's time, laughing. We cry too. We have to sometimes. I laughed through your fake news article, but felt the sorrow that I know from experience is behind it. Thank you for both.

Ben Hofmeister
18disabled.com

Reply
Carlos Briceño avatar

Carlos Briceño

Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate them. I know several people who have MS so what you deal with is very difficult, and so it's totally understandable that you share so many emotions -- laughing and crying included -- with your family. Thank you for sharing what you did because it helps us all realize that, though people may not have the same diseases, we all experience the same emotions because of the diseases. Sometimes the emotions lead to laughter, sometimes to tears. Whatever the case, sharing all this with your family and others is important because showing emotion reveals truth and it reveals our humanity.

Reply
Carlos Briceño avatar

Carlos Briceño

Thank you for what you wrote! I appreciate it! :)

Reply

Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.