By Sally Forbidussi
Ann’s 5k/10k Tem Hope Walk Event in Binghamton, New York is named and held in honor of a beautiful lady named Ann Tripp. Ann has Huntington’s disease. At this race, we celebrate Ann. She is truly one of the bravest women that I know! She always has a smile on her face and no matter what the situation is, she knows that God is on her team! She truly understands the meaning of the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” She embraces each day and has lots of lemonade to share with everyone she meets. She is a mom of 5 awesome people: Adam, Jason, Kevin, Joanna, and Steven. She is a beautiful wife to Gary Tripp. Ann and Gary both grew up in Conklin, NY. She is a grandma to my kids and a blessing to me!
She is the type of person who has your back no matter what. I am not a good cook at all, but no matter what I serve for a meal or snack, she tells me it’s delicious. She never forgets about Doctor Appointments or the things going on in our lives. She always calls to ask how we are doing and make sure we know that she loves us! That’s a real friend! I am very blessed to be part of such an amazing family.
I met Ann when I was in junior high school. Her son, Adam and I belonged to a group called Knightlights, where we would sing and dance all over the Broome County Area. It was so much fun! Ann was amazing from the start. She was a beautiful lady with a new baby named Joanna. She was adorable. We became great friends. Over the years, we have spent many days and adventures together. Sometimes, life is difficult and we don’t have things go the way that we dreamed of. She told me that life can be hard, but she’d always love me. She taught me that I needed to live life and sometimes it may not work out how we planned, but keep going! Some dreams just are not possible at that moment in time. She said I needed to let go of the kite string I was holding on to and move on. She told me that she would take over holding that kite string for me and that she would never let go of it! Even until this very day, she has never let go!! I am very blessed to have her in our life! She loves my children and me so very much!
Now, Ann is facing Huntington’s disease! It’s my turn to take the kite string and hold on for the cure for Ann! Her oldest son and my dear friend, Adam also has Huntington’s disease. My son, Vinnie, and Ann’s other 4 children and their children could also carry this genetic disorder. I love them all very much! Having a traumatic brain injury and triple negative breast cancer all in a year and a half has given me a lot of thinking time. On March 22, 2016, I was told the amazing news that I was cancer free! Praise God! I have 4 beautiful children: Vinnie, Emily, Alli, and Gabriella. They are all fans of Grandma Ann. Before my injury, I taught Health and Physical Education and I loved my job every day. My deepest passion is teaching Adapted Physical Education, being a mom, and sharing hope with others. I have run in many races as well as held many race events in my career. I never truly understood being faced with the idea of disability or death until now. It’s a harsh reality for people with HD. Support and love are essential to living a happy life. It is difficult to watch someone with HD and have the knowledge of the path that HD takes. Still, God is bigger than HD! It is hopeful that they will have some answers soon that can help those with HD.
Please join us to celebrate the people living with HD and honor those who have died from the disease. Together, we can spread awareness, raise money for the needed research, and hold onto that kite string for the cure!