My name is Erika Boulavsky and I wanted to reach out to you and introduce myself as the new Community Outreach Specialist for HD Reach. I just finished my first week and all I can say is that I am SO GRATEFUL!
As someone who is also impacted by Huntington's Disease within my family and friends, I can honestly say that this is truly a dream come true. I have been given the opportunity to be able to reach out and do everything I can to not only find those in need of support, but to also make sure that the resources we are providing are up-to-date and beneficial. It is so important to me that you know that all of us here at HD Reach are here for you for every step of your Huntington's journey. I want to give you a little deeper dive into my life since I feel it is only fair that I will gradually learn about yours....
Currently, I reside in Raleigh, NC, with my fiancé and 2 dogs (going to be 3 dogs soon!). We moved here two years ago just as the pandemic started. It was a tough transition as many of us struggled during the pandemic, but we have been so thankful that Raleigh has become an incredible new home for us. I am originally from Myrtle Beach, SC, where my immediate family lives now and we try to travel back often. I graduated with my master's degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina and since graduation, began working with the hospice population. I hold my LMSW licensure in South Carolina and am currently working on my LCSW here in North Carolina. I continued my hospice work here in Raleigh until I was presented with the incredible opportunity to work with the community that has been a huge part of my life.
Remember when I said that I was also from a family impacted by HD? I truly meant it! I grew up with a grandmother who was symptomatic my entire life until she passed away when I was a teenager. My mother has also tested positive and is incredibly open about her diagnosis, her journey, the lengths she has gone to as a participant in clinical studies and making sure that she stays on top of her treatment and health. I have volunteered for numerous HD programs, and I am forever thankful for these experiences. Those opportunities have introduced me to others affected by HD, and I can honestly say they are and will always be a part of my life.
Now here is what I ask of you: Please do not hesitate to reach out to me! You may also take this time to start thinking about allowing me the opportunity to eventually become a part of your life. My hope going forward is that we work together to keep fighting and hoping for a future without HD. Until then, I will be here to help in whatever capacity you need me to be in.
As I continue to find my footing and we look at our programming, I want to know what is most helpful/reasonable for you in how we provide our information and support. We need your feedback! Here is a short poll (I promise it is short and painless) to help me get an idea of the best way we can support you, as well as wanting to know what topics interest you the most. If you do not mind, please complete this poll so that we can be sure to prepare/provide resources that benefit you and your families. Now that you have my email and phone number, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Whether it is to introduce yourself and chat, to share any ideas of your own, or even if you do not even know where to begin; I will gladly make the first move and explore with you.
I look forward to getting to know you and staying connected,