Originally from Wielsbeke, Belgium, Jonas currently lives in San Diego, CA. In 2012, Geert, Jonas' dad, was diagnosed with a repeat extension of gene C9orf72 currently known to potentially cause both FTD and ALS.
Symptoms of FTD have only slowly progressed over time and at this time are only prevalent in specific situations. Since the beginning of 2022 however, Geert started to experience a rapid progression of ALS symptoms.
While up until a year ago he was able to take longer beach walks, getting out of bed and doing basis day-to-day tasks has now become a challenge. Likely as a result of the ALS symptoms, Geert had a bad fall in August 2022 resulting in multiple rib, shoulder, and head fractures, a collapsed lung, and a subdural hematoma.
Recovered from his injuries through the good care provided by my mom, Bernadette, doctors, nurses, and physical therapists, and support from his friends and family, Geert now lives back at home requiring around the clock care.
Jonas choose Het Ventiel as the organization he would like to support because of its mission. One of the consequences of symptoms for people with FTD is not being able to participate in social activities. Through Het Ventiel's buddy support system, FTD does not have to result in social isolation.