Les Pue knows all too well the devastating impacts Huntington’s disease can have on those afflicted and their families.
In 1991, his wife Margaret was diagnosed with the degenerative brain disorder. Pue stood by her side as the disease gradually inhibited her motor skills and cognitive functions and eventually took her life.
“I made a decision that helping the fight against Huntington’s disease was what I wanted to do in my retirement years,” said Pue, who drove his wife all the way from their home in Los Altos to the UC Davis Huntington’s disease clinic in Sacramento, one of about only 20 of its kind in the nation. “I wanted to help support the care of people with Huntington’s and their families.”
Pue found a way to support the fight against Huntington's disease when he became involved with UC Davis Health System’s Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence and met nurse practitioner and clinic co-director, Terry Tempkin.
“It soon became obvious that Terry was a one-in-a-million find,” said Pue.
"When I became aware of the need for financial support in order for UCDMC to retain Terry, I immediately decided that would be the most worthwhile use of my philanthropic dollars and volunteered to provide partial support of her salary," Pue said.
“I must say it has been one of the most rewarding involvements I have ever had and certainly the best money I have ever spent.”
Tempkin said Pue’s support is allowing her to expand the services she provides to families.
“Les’ commitment is philanthropy in real time,” she said, “and that is making a difference now in the lives of many families impacted by this disease.”