Name: David Drain
Occupation: Specialist Youth Advisor
Employer: Scottish Huntingtons Association
Years involved in HD: coming up for 2 years
? 1. Have you always wanted to be a youth worker?
“ David: Not exactly. But after failing to find fame and fortune as a fighter pilot/footballer/rock star, the next step was naturally youth
? 2. If you were to compete in the Olympics, what event would you do and why?
“ David: Is playing FIFA on the PS3 an Olympic sport? If not then I'll say Table tennis….I am a youth worker after all!
? 3. Where did you grow up?
“ David: I grew up in sunny Aberdeen, Scotland which I must admit I am very fond of….. even though Aberdeen's background
radiation level is double the UK average (that's down to Aberdeen being almost completely built from Granite). Oh and Aberdeen
has the greatest percentage of people in the UK with personalised number plates on their cars…bet you didn't know that
? 4. Which band/group/singer do you listen to most? And will we have a clue who they are?
“ David: I listen to most things but my favourite bands would be The Stone Roses, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Simon and
Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, Belle and Sebastian, The Magic Numbers, Jack Johnson and U2.
? 5. If you could meet with any person who ever lived, who would it be and why?
“ David: Great question. There are literally loads of people to choose from, but it would have to be Jesus. For historical events to
be divided into before and after someone was born (like we find with B.C and A.D), that person has to be worth meeting!
? 6. George Huntington - the lucky man - had a disease named after him, what would you like named after you? And why?
“ David: The way things are going I'll be lucky if a tombstone is named after me. But all joking aside, it would be great if they
rename Pittodrie Stadium (home of my beloved Aberdeen F.C) after me. Unfortunately there is probably more chance of Aberdeen
ever winning the Champions League than that happening!
? 7. What superpower would you have if you were a superhero? (You're only allowed one so pick wisely)
“ David: In my opinion the three best abilities would be flying, making yourself invisible and laser beam eyes. I'll go for flying! But
I'd also gladly accept the superpower of being able to write up my case notes by clicking my fingers :)
? 8. If you were on death row - which let's hope you never are - what would your 'last meal' be?
“ David: Wow…it's hard to beat a good bit of fillet steak (Aberdeen Angus of course). I would ask for it to be slow cooked for
? 9. What would we find you doing on your day(s) off?
“ David: At the moment my wife and I are renovating a house, so literally any spare time is spent doing that. All I can say is that
there is a lot to be said for buying a new build!
? 10. Let's pretend you were president of the entire world for a day, what would you do?
“ David: Give everyone the day off (apart from politicians), reduce the price of petrol for the average person by taxing the oil
companies obscene profits and close down the office in the EU who make all the ridiculous rules, like whether a banana is
? 11. What kind of things do you help young people with in your line of work?
“ David: My job is to support young people in Scotland who are affected by Huntingtons Disease, but this support often comes in
various forms. It can be directly related to HD. An example of this would be where I meet a young person for a coffee, over the
course of a few months to discuss the various issues relating to going down the predictive testing route. But a lot of work we do
can be indirectly caused by HD. For example a young girl who, as a result of her single parent having HD, is living in poverty and
being bullied at school because her clothes are worn out and dirty. We use different methods to support the young people such as
1-2-1 sessions, peer education programmes, social media networking, support groups, residential summer camps and one day
activities throughout the year.
? 12. If Hollywood made a movie about your life - which, let's be honest, is quite unlikely - who would you want to play you?
“ David: Obviously all the A-listers (Clooney, Cruise, Pitt, Jackman) would be desperate for the part, but it would have to go to Alex
Etel, a young British actor who looks almost identical to how I looked as a kid (he was in Millions and the Water Horse)
? 13. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
“ David: Without doubt it's when I'm with young people, sharing in their life and having the opportunity to just be part of what that
young person is going through -regardless of whether it's positive or negative. In my job you have to do a fair amount of
paperwork, so it makes the times when you actually get to spend with young people really valuable!
? 14. If you just happened to have a rotten tomato available, and you had to throw it at someone (what else can you do with a
rotten tomato), who would you throw it at and why?
“ David: Seb Blatter and everyone else involved in the FIFA scandals - for bringing a beautiful game which I love into disrepute
from their lack of integrity and character.
? 15. What film/TV show makes you laugh the most?
“ David: Without doubt it's The Office USA, particularly the early seasons - Steve Carrell is a genius. It can be close to the bone
but when it's good it is hilarious! Harry Hill is also brilliant!
? 16. If you could invent one thing, what would you invent and why?
“ David: A remote control that can pause/rewind/fast forward time could come in very handy.
? 17. Apart from a cure, if there is one thing you could improve in Huntington's disease what would it be and why?
“ David: I think I would be hard pressed to find a better sentiment than what you and other sites like HD BUZZ are trying to do.
Breaking down communication barriers for young people to be more informed is invaluable.
Other than that I would love to see more HD youth workers employed worldwide to help support the thousands of YP who
currently do not receive the support they need.
? 18. If you could be any animal on the entire planet, which one would you be and why?
“ David: An Eagle, to be able to fly so effortlessly would be amazing
? 19. What's your message to young people impacted by Huntington's disease?
“ David: I guess my message would be one of encouragement and respect
Having had the opportunity to work with some young people who are affected by Huntingtons Disease closely over the last few
years, I am literally astounded by their resilience and resolve in the light of often extremely tough and challenging situations. If you
are a young person that is impacted someway by Huntingtons, I can bet my bottom dollar (going by my experience) that you have
developed a level of resilience, decision making and character that most young people your age do not have. This creates
massive respect in me for the young people I work with, and makes me see that the real expert in the relationship is not me, but
the young person sitting across the table.
? 20. Final question… Nike or Adidas?
“ David: Adidas
Thanks David, keep up the good work in Scotland!
This document was downloaded from the HDYO website at http://en.hdyo.org/eve/hotseat/90
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