From Springer to Bagwell, 'Stros past and present showed out to support teammate Joe Smith and TNT sports reporter Allie LaForce's HelpCureHD Foundation. The power couple's org aims to raise awareness and help find a cure for Huntington's disease, the rare genetic disorder that causes a progressive breakdown of brain cells. Smith's mother, Lee, was diagnosed with HD in 2012.
Smith and LaForce hosted a private luncheon at Tootsie's that drew surprise guests and franchise favorites like George Springer, Jose Altuve, Lance McCullers Jr., and former first baseman Jeff Bagwell along with philanthropists and socialites for a champagne reception, fashion show, and silent auction with prizes like Astros experiences and memorabilia and tickets to The Masters.
Tootsies was the scene of another Astro's charitable cause earlier this year when Team Up for Kids and K9s raised more than $360,000 for the Lance McCullers Jr. Foundation and Sunshine Kids Foundation hosted by McCullers, Altuve, and Dallas Keuchel.
Funds from the HelpCureHD luncheon went toward the foundation's mission: improving quality of life for HD patients and eliminating the gene from future children in vitro. Most patients of the hereditary, progressive disorder develop symptoms—which include cognitive, psychiatric, and physical impairments—in their 30s and 40s, the Mayo Clinic reports.
The fight continues with HD Day at Minute Maid Park on September 15 when the Astros take on the Diamondbacks.