This Veterans Day, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) honors veterans who have served our country, including those touched by Parkinson’s disease.
In particular, we recognize the veterans on the PDF team who continue to serve the community by helping us to end Parkinson’s disease. Here are a few of their stories.
Veterans on the PDF Team Ending Parkinson’s
John Creveling, a PDF Research Advocate of Philadelphia, PA: John served in the US Army for more than five years (three in Germany and two in the US). He was honorably discharged with the rank of E6. “As a Veteran, I am fortunate to be eligible for healthcare benefits from the VA and to live in Philadelphia where the Va’s Parkinson’s Disease Research Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECCs) is located. The doctors and healthcare professionals who work there are among the best in the country.” He was selected as the first patient advocate at the Philadelphia PADRECC Center in 2014. Among his contributions as a PDF Research Advocate, he is part of a team funded through a PDF PAIR Leadership Award to educate and increase awareness of Parkinson’s within African-American communities and has worked on the frontlines with researchers to share patient priorities.
Sam Erwin, M.S., M.A., a PDF Research Advocate of West Des Moines, IA: Sam served in the US Army for several years in the late 1970s. Among her activities with PDF as a Research Advocate, she recently served as a consumer reviewer of research funded by the US Department of Defense (DoD). In this role, she helped guide $16 million in government funding for Parkinson’s disease research. Sam is also active with the recently-launched PDF Women and PD Initiative.
Jay Phillips, a PDF Research Advocate of Summerville, SC: Jay served in 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army in Vietnam. Among his many activities in the Parkinson’s community, he leads a support group at his local Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He said, “I have also led the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center Parkinson’s Disease Support Group since March 2015, gaining additional insight on the special needs of veterans with PD.” As members of the PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council, he and his wife Marilyn help to guide PDF’s work to end Parkinson’s.
Paul Zimmet, D.D.S., a PDF Research Advocate of Reston, VA: Paul served in the Army Dental Corps in the 1970s. Along with Sam, he served as a consumer reviewer of research funded by the DoD, helping to guide $16 million in government funding for Parkinson’s research. He has represented PDF at several scientific conferences, including the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting and has served as a PDF grant reviewer, providing patient input on our research investments.
PDF Resources for Veterans
Are you a veteran of the United States military who lives with Parkinson’s? There are programs to assist with care, financial and legal matters, including six Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECCs) offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Here’s how to learn more: