On February 2, a group of future osteopathic doctors at the Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) hosted Pancakes for Parkinson’s, a breakfast to raise awareness of PD and funds for PDF. The students, who make up the university’s chapter of the national Student Osteopathic Medical Association, welcomed 100 guests and raised $400. In this Q&A, Pranamya Mahankali, chapter leader, shares why the students got involved as PDF Champions, plus we link to a local news cast featuring the students’ efforts.
Q. Can you tell us what motivated your group to join the PDF Champions program, and host Pancakes for Parkinson’s?
A. As student doctors at LUCOM, we are very motivated and enthusiastic about raising awareness and support for medical conditions that we are learning about, including Parkinson’s disease. This energy fuels us in helping the community. Our group is the inaugural chapter of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association at LUCOM. We noticed that several other chapters from across the country were hosting Pancakes for Parkinson’s fundraising events and having a positive impact on the community. We wanted to host our first Pancakes event to also contribute to this worthwhile cause.
Q. Why is fundraising for PDF important to your group? How does it relate to your studies as future health professionals?
A. The mission of PDF coincides with the belief of a “servant’s heart” that our university and medical school stand for. We strongly support and believe that PDF is paving the way for Parkinson’s disease research, as well as, helping support those with the disease and their families. We hope to raise awareness in our community and school for Parkinson’s disease. Being the inaugural class at the Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine, we want to set a standard of excellence by participating and advocating for noble causes.
Q. Why would you encourage others to support Parkinson’s research as PDF Champions?
We would encourage others to support PDF and become PDF Champions because we believe in giving back to the community. Giving back is an important aspect of a medical career. With an estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease, it’s very important to acknowledge and support organizations like PDF who are funding research as well as assisting those who live with the disease.
Pranamya Mahankali of Lynchburg, VA, is the Vice President of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va