Danville family raising awareness about FH disease through motorcycle racing in Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. - A family from Danville is raising awareness about a genetic disorder that causes early heart disease. If not treated, it could lead to heart attacks, and even death.
At the Sonoma Raceway, competition for the Sonoma Nationals is underway. One motorcycle in particular is a talker.
"I’ve been into motorcycles my entire life," said Scott Radabough of Danville. "It’s my passion. I’ve done club racing when I was younger."
Scott Radabough, at age 43, recovered from an emergency quadruple bypass from what would have been a fatal heart attack. He was left asking why.
"The real miracle in all this," said Radabough. "I survived and had my kids checked, their cholesterol."
Radabough had familial hypercholesterolemia or FH disease, a genetic disorder that causes high cholesterol. People with FH disease start depositing cholesterol in their arteries beginning at birth.
FH is common affecting every 1 in 250 people yet only 10 percent with FH know they have it. One in 10 heart attacks under the age of 45 are caused by FH.
"That’s what this bike is all about," said Radabough. "It’s trying to raise awareness for the 1 in 250 people that don't know they have FH yet."
The bike is a Kawasaki classic, custom-made complete with painted DNA strands.
"The red parts are supposed to represent the genetic defects," said Radabough.
Daughter Chloe helped build it. At age five, she was diagnosed with a rare and dangerous form of FH. Now 15, she’s undergoing six-hour treatments every two weeks.
"It’s ok, it’s as good as it can be," said Chloe Radabough of Danville.
Chloe Radabough is drawing strength from an up and coming racer who’s faced her own battles.
"She’s out here fighting FH every week," said Jianna Salinas of San Jose. "She’s doing amazing. She’s learning how to ride a motorcycle at 15. She’s my hero."
Pro stock motorcycle racer and San Jose State grad Jianna Salinas back on the track. She’s faced her own adversity wrecking her motorcycle in 2019 but she fought through it and came back winning a national event in Pomona.
"That was just amazing that really sealed my love for her and what she does," said Chloe Radabough.
They’re joining forces. The Radabough’s motorcycle sits inside Jianna’s pit as they share their story this weekend in Sonoma.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.