“I have a hope that this foundation has a short life. We exist to help fund and find a cure. To do that we need to generate and raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and its impact to the public. Awareness in turn will aid in generation of funding. Funding for a cure and funding for the personal side of the disease. Programs to get people moving, walking, riding, dancing, and exercising.”
– Mike Justak, Founder of Mike Justak Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease
When PatientsLikeMe member Mike Justak (MJUSAK) realized that Parkinson’s disease (PD) funding was lagging, he decided to take action. His goal: to “put a face to Parkinson’s” and highlight the fact that it occurs in patients under the age of 50 as well as older patients.
Mike founded the Mike Justak Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease, and this year he began working on a “Faces of Parkinson’s Video Wall.” It’s a pastiche of videos submitted by PD patients around the country that he plans to submit to the Parkinson’s Action Network, state governors and US senators. To add your “face” to the project, all you have to do is submit a short, close-up video stating who you are, where you’re from and what you do. See Mike’s sample video submission below.
Having being diagnosed with PD in his mid-forties, Mike has also focused on raising awareness of young onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD). Check out the growing number of profiles of young onset Parkinson’s patients – from a musician to a teacher to an NBA player – on his foundation’s Younger Faces page.
As Men’s Health Week concludes, we’d like to honor Mike for his efforts as well as thank PatientsLikeMe members tiredoftired and Rick N for sharing their essays about depression and multiple sclerosis (MS) earlier this week. We salute all of our male members for making their voices heard!