From A.C.: Thanking Dad by Giving Back

woolnough_ac_copyAs Father’s Day comes closer, I have been reflecting on what my Dad gave to me. A US Navy veteran, my Dad was proud of his 37-year career. He served his country as a seaman in World War II and later as an officer.

That’s one reason why his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease – an incurable, chronic and progressive disease – hit him so hard.

Although he’s gone, one of the many values he taught me was to be a part of something bigger than self … to serve others … to give back.

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Putting Passion to Work for PD: Q&A with PDF Champion Dawn Judson

dawnHow are you putting your passions to work for Parkinson’s? Each year, PDF Champion Dawn Judson puts her passion for offroading and and for her business, Bikini Offroad, to use by hosting Shake, Rattle and Crawl. The two-day off-road vehicle event is held in Marble, TX to benefit PDF.

The event offers drives on jeeps, ATVs, motorcycles and trucks on the scenic trails and hills of the Hidden Falls Adventure Park, as well as live music, a scavenger hunt, a raffle and dinner.

This year, Dawn and her family and friends raised $5,500 … bringing them to cumulative total of $16,000 since 2013! How does she do it? Read our interview with Dawn to learn why the cause is so important to her and how she puts this event together each year.

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I’d Like to Thank the Academy … for an Inspiring 2015 AAN Meeting!

research_vernaleo_beth_100x1001.jpgA few weeks ago, I attended my first American Academy of Neurology (AAN) meeting, which was held in Washington, DC. This was the 67th annual meeting of the AAN, which brings together 10,000 neurologists and neuroscientists working to bring the best patient care and innovative research to the field of neurology.

What should the PD community know about this gathering of professionals fighting their disease? Among the many highlights, here are a few of the more notable ones:

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From Baltimore to India: Visiting Nurse Notes with Alpa Uchil, M.P.H., R.N.

safra-1How are we preparing the next generation of nurses to care for the growing population of people with Parkinson’s? The alumni of The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program (EJS-VNF) at PDF are doing their part. Alumni of the program, such as Alpa Uchil, M.P.H., R.N., a nurse at The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine, undergo the “train the trainer” curriculum, so that they can, in turn, educate their nursing students.

We sat down with Ms. Uchil, who completed the program in 2014, to understand her work in Parkinson’s and how the EJS-VNF program has made an impact. She’s not only sharing the lessons she learned with students at JHU in Baltimore, but she’s also bringing them online to colleagues in India.

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Walking Over Water for Parkinson’s: Q&A with Nancy Redkey

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Nancy Redkey (far right) with walkers and PDF staff.

Last Sunday, the Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley, Inc., hosted their fifth annual Walk Over Water in Poughkeepsie, NY, to benefit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

More than 150 people attended, bringing the walk’s five-year fundraising total to $80,000. Not only that, the event continues to garner greater support from the community, including businesses and government. This year, NY State Senator Sue Serino joined to declare April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month, along with County Executive Marc Molinaro.

How do they do it? Read our interview with group leader Nancy Redkey, as she reflects on the annual walk, what inspires her to make a difference and tip on how to start your own walk.

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From Diane: It’s Our Time to Speak Up

eblast_pam2015_week4_image#2Which part of living with Parkinson’s disease should be the priority for scientists to study? For Diane Cook the answer is: cognitive issues.

She submitted her answer through the Second Annual PDF Community Choice Research Awards survey. Now she is urging you to share yours by Thursday, April 30. Diane worked closely with PDF to develop the first Community Choice Research Awards survey last year, which are a “people’s choice” for PD research grants. The ProjectSpark Foundation run by Diane’s children donated funds for the awards.

Hear from Diane about why the “people’s choice” awards are critical for PD research, why she answered cognitive issues on her survey and why she urges you to take the survey too — today.

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