The HD spotlight on Kerryn and John Salmon

Kerryn and John Salmon: Huntington’s Disease and Physical Fitness

A lifetime of giving to the community,

By John Salmon OAM

HD SPOTLIGHT ON KERRYN AND JOHN SALMONJohn and Kerry Salmon OAM with their family at Government House in Sydney celebrating their order of Australia awards

 John and Kerryn have been married for almost 50 years and we asked him to give us a snapshot of his life with Kerryn.

MY WIFE  KERRYN SALMON OAM was diagnosed with Huntington’s in 2003 and is now 70 years old and living in a nursing home. She is way past the average life expectancy age for HD and this we believe can be due to a high level of physical fitness and a healthy diet.

I first met Kerryn, a Cooking Demonstrator at the Sydney county council when she was 20 and i fell in love with her at first sight. I found out that she was heavily into physical fitness, working out with the YWCA in Sydney and was also a schoolgirl golf champion. I was very active in both Cronulla and Wanda surf clubs and had won many surfboard paddling championships. We had a common interest in physical fitness.

Our romance blossomed and after 9 months Kerryn decided in 1971 to go overseas indefinitely.

She travelled by ship to Japan and daily spent time in the gym. She travelled across Russia on the trans-siberian railway and after almost 3 months arrived in London. As good as the travel was, she soon realised that she missed me and wanted to come home. Before doing so she did some speedy camping trips with long hours of travelling which resulted in her physical fitness deteriorating rapidly.

In November Kerryn returned home by ship with daily visits to the gym whilst onboard restored her fitness. Kerryn and I were married 6 months later and started our own family.

After Kerryn had our 2 children I suggested that she join me in the city to surf runs. This was the start of a magnificent running career for Kerryn. We teamed up to run the husband and Wife section and won it 3 times. Kerry was 4th across the line 3 times and won her age group twice and won every fun run she entered over a 10-year period.

Kerryn’s father passed on the HD gene to her but he was misdiagnosed with manic depression. When Kerryn first started showing Huntington’s symptoms we both wondered what the hell was wrong. Ultimately diagnosis meant we could cope with the problem together. In addition to her regular running and in-house exercise she increased her golf and took a 30-minute bike ride twice a week to the gym.

John commented, “It’s our belief that a lifetime of fitness delayed her need for nursing home care by about 4 years. Although Kerryn is in a nursing home in Sydney, we still email every day and spend time together as often as possible.”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Latest News and Stories

Our submission to the Disability Royal Commission

Published date: 29 July, 2020

Five Huntington’s state associations have collaborated on a submission to the Disability Royal Commission. You can download and read the submission HERE.

HD News Winter 2020 published

Published date: 16 July, 2020

Please download your copy of HD News Winter 2020 HERE Renew your membership before 31 July to be in the ballot for a free weekend in a donated holiday house near Wollombi! Smart new website launched Dancing at the Vatican documentary  free tickets Free holiday house stays ballot with membership renewals Hunt 4 Hope Op ... Read more HD News Winter 2020 published

We’re hiring – Marketing & Fundraising Coordinator (re-advertised)

Published date: 8 July, 2020

Huntington’s NSW ACT is recruiting a part-time marketing & fundraising professional due to the forthcoming resignation of the person currently in this role. Position start date: late August. Long hand-over, with incumbent leaving at the end of October. Huntington’s NSW ACT is a small but vibrant charity, serving people living with Huntington’s disease and their ... Read more We’re hiring – Marketing & Fundraising Coordinator (re-advertised)

Neurological Alliance Australia – Statement on Expanded Telehealth

Published date: 25 June, 2020

The Neurological Alliance Australia has today issued a Joint Position Statement calling on the Australian Government to permanently extend the amendments made to MBS telehealth items introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These supports are currently scheduled to cease after 30 September 2020.  The members of the NAA, representing adults and children living with ... Read more Neurological Alliance Australia – Statement on Expanded Telehealth

UPDATE from ROCHE clinical research program into HD drugs

Published date: 21 April, 2020

ROCHE / GENENTECH have released a statement: Update on tominersen (RG6042)* Huntington’s disease (HD) clinical programme: Recruitment into GENERATION HD1 clinical trial has been completed You can read the statement in full here.

Exercise at home – for HD families

Published date: 15 April, 2020

We would like to share some information with you that you may find useful to help you stay as active as possible during this time. We believe that it is important for you to do some structured exercise every day to help you maintain strength and balance.

Welcome to our new website!

Please bear with us while we iron out the last minute wrinkles! If you have any feedback about our new site, please fill out the form below.