|15 Feb 2022|
|Written by Jos Hollington|
OB (1972-77) Charles Sabine OBE, Emmy Award winning television journalist, worked for the US Network NBC News for twenty-six years before becoming a global spokesman for patients and families suffering degenerative brain diseases. He is active throughout advocacy and charity sectors across four continents and founder of the Hidden No More Foundation. He was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for 2022 for his mission to improve the lives of Huntington’s families everywhere and, notably, the citation mentions the words 'Huntington’s disease', the first time in history those words have been used in such an award from a monarch.
He joined NBC in 1982 in London and became a producer on the ‘Today’ show in New York in 1987. According to NBC, “he participated in most of the major international news stories of the last two decades – Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Syria, Haiti, South Africa, Rwanda, Zaire, Iran, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Northern Ireland." Charles, as producer of the NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw team coverage of the ‘Romanian Revolution’, received an Emmy Award for his program segments which aired in December 1989, in the Outstanding General Coverage of a Single–Breaking News Story category of the News & Documentary Emmy Awards.
In 2006, between tours of Iraq for NBC, Charles tested positive for the expanded Huntington's gene. His father, uncle, half-brother and brother John, would all die of Huntington's disease (HD). John, five years older than Charles, was, before he became symptomatic, an Oxford graduate and barrister in London.
In interviews, Charles has described why he then chose to use what remaining time he had, to switch battlefields from Baghdad to the one facing HD families due to unparalleled misrepresentation, discrimination and prejudice: “My neurologist said: ‘there is nothing you can do about this disease, just live your life as well as you can.” Charles relates. In the coming months, however, he realised that: “The neurologist was completely wrong. There is everything I can do about this disease. The problem, is finding the time to do it all.”
Among keynote lectures across four continents, Charles has spoken at the Royal Society, the European Parliament, the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific research, the Italian Senate, the Harvard Club, and the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste (SISSA). Sabine has become one of the foremost lay opinions on the ethics of future scientific research.
To learn more about Charles' work, please visit the Hidden No More Foundation website here - and if you would like to donate to help find a cure for this terrible illness, please visit https://www.hda.org.uk/donate
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