Vince, Vinny, Vincenzo,
or Vincent Joseph Hurst
(“if you’re really mad at me”)
reached the finish line of his final race on August 3rd 2012. He accomplished it with immense courage in the face of insurmountable odds, always with the hope that a cure for Huntington’s Disease would be found in time.
Born in 1958, Vinny spent his entire life in Vernon except for a summer clearing hydro right-of-ways near Edmonton. (It was six months before he lost the F-word!) He then found the perfect body-building job at Riverside Forest Products’ veneer plant, working his way up the ladder. However, after 20 years, having reached the level of foreman-trainee, he was diagnosed with HD. To their credit, both his Union and his employers strove to keep him working as long as possible, but he finally had to retire in 1998. He spent a few short years enjoying his boat, his camper, and his cabin at Six Mile before he was inevitably confined first to his suite, and then, on his 50th birthday, to Polson Special Extended Care Unit.
Vinny suspected that he had HD long before his diagnosis, and was determined to live life in the moment to the fullest while he could. A keen competitor, he tried everything – arm wrestling, downhill and freestyle skiing, water skiing, parasailing, and auto racing. His pride and joy was his “Lincoln Red” ’72 Datsun Fairlady in which he installed a 240-Z engine. His proudest moment came when he won a third place trophy in his class at Knox.
Vinny leaves behind his mother Terry Hurst, his grandmother Elsie Reid, sisters Leslie Hughes and Val Galbraith, and brother Rod Hurst, with their respective families, and innumerable good friends. Special thanks to the marvellous staff at Polson Special, whose care for Vinny went far beyond the call of duty.
Those wishing to help find a cure may make donations to the Huntington Society of Canada, 151 Frederick Street, Suite 400, Kitchener, Ontario N2H 2N2. (They’re getting close!)
A celebration of Vinny’s life was held August 11 by invitation.