16 posts tagged “Parkinson’s Unity Walk”

Six Days Until the Parkinson’s Unity Walk

Posted April 23rd, 2012 by

Parkinson's Unity Walk Is Saturday, April 28, 2012

Parkinson’s Awareness Month isn’t over yet!  This month-long effort is capped off by the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, which takes place Saturday, April 28th, in New York City’s Central Park.

The largest grassroots awareness event for Parkinson’s disease (PD), the Unity Walk is anticipated to attract more than 10,000 participants.  If you’ve never attended something of that size, it’s quite a lot of people.  Beyond the sheer scope of the event, there’s another noteworthy fact:  100% of all donations go towards research supported by the seven major US Parkinson’s foundations.*  In 2011, that came to more than $1.5 million!

The 2009 Unity Walk in Progress

Now in its 18th year, the Unity Walk is an opportunity for solidarity amongst the different PD organizations.  Admirably, these groups have shown there’s no need to compete for funds when you can come together as one.  “This event truly unifies the whole Parkinson’s community behind a common mission—supporting the best, cutting-edge research,” says Joyce Oberdorf, President and CEO of the National Parkinson Foundation.  “It is like no other.”

A PatientsLikeMe Member and Her Family at the 2009 Unity Walk Start Gate

What’s new for 2012?  First, there’s a new 1.4 mile walk route in Central Park – slightly longer than 2011 but shorter than in previous years.  (It is wheelchair accessible.)  There will be free coffee served this year, and there will also be four food trucks on hand.  Another fun feature is the Team Photo Booth.  Get a printed copy of your photo right away and then download a digital copy later from the vendor website.  Learn about other new aspects here.

Over the years, PatientsLikeMe has sponsored a number of Unity Walk teams through our PatientsLikeMeInMotion program, which provides bright blue T-shirts, a monetary donation and more.  We’ve also attended the Unity Walk and interviewed some of the PatientsLikeMe members present.  Check out the short one-minute video below featuring four members of Team PatientsLikeMe at the 2010 Unity Walk.  (Find other Unity Walk interviews on our YouTube channel.)

*All Unity Walk donations are split evenly among these seven US organizations:  American Parkinson Disease Association, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson’s Action Network, The Parkinson Alliance, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center.


Observing Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Posted April 2nd, 2012 by

Since 2010, April has been designated as Parkinson’s Awareness Month by the US Senate.  The goal is to shine a spotlight on the national impact of Parkinson’s disease (PD), which affects more than one million Americans.  A progressive disorder of the nervous system, PD is often marked by muscle tremors, muscle rigidity, decreased mobility, stooped posture, slow voluntary movements and a mask-like facial expression.

The 2011 Parkinson's Unity Walk Had Nearly 10,000 Participants and Raised Over $1.5 Million for Parkinson's Research

Parkinson’s activists been coming together for the last 17 years for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, held annually in New York City’s Central Park at the end of April.  (The 2012 event takes place on Saturday April 28th.)  Now, with Parkinson’s Awareness Month surrounding it, there is a month-long effort to raise awareness and research funds.  One of the driving reasons is that PD complications are the 14th leading cause of death in the US.

PD was one of the flagship conditions at PatientsLikeMe, and today we have more than 6,100 patients who report the disease.  What are they doing to cope?  Some of the most commonly reported treatments include prescription drugs such as Carbidopa-Levodopa (Sinemet), Ropinirole (Requip), and Rasagiline (Azilect); procedures such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and acupuncture; and supplements such as CoEnzyme Q10.  Click on each treatment to see how our patients rate the effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.

A Snapshot of the Parkinson's Community at PatientsLikeMe

We also have an active Parkinson’s Disease Room in our forum, where more than 7,000 patients are discussing 12,000+ topics.  To date, we’ve logged more than 100,000 forum posts about PD!  What are patients talking about?  Some recent threads include:

  • Do you have a caring doctor?
  • Dealing with sadness and stress
  • Knitting:  therapeutic or tortuous?
  • The neglected pain of Parkinson’s
  • Resigned from my job today

For more insight into living with PD, stay tuned for our interview later this week with PatientsLikeMe member Jim Atwell, author of Wobbling Home:  A Spiritual Walk with Parkinson’s.