Starting A Parkinson’s Revolution in WV

In early 2010, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I knew something was wrong – two frozen shoulders, tightness of muscles in my right leg and arm, small handwriting and fatigue. But when the tremor came to my right arm, it came fast and quickly. I knew I needed to see a neurologist. After diagnosis, I went looking for a support group. I wanted, no needed, to find other people fighting this disease. There wasn’t one. Since I didn’t know of anyone with PD, I thought of ways I could draw them out into the open. So, I started a 5k run/walk and decided to donate the money to The Michael J. Fox Foundation. I had no idea who would show up. The event was a huge success, raising $20,000 and it led to the start of our local support group. Five years later, our support group has 150 members, our 5k has raised more than $170,000 and our 501(c)3 pays for free boxing and exercise classes weekly and we are holding our first statewide conference on PD in September. I don’t like having PD, but it has introduced me to the most caring, creative, determined people I have met in my life. We will find a cure. How can we not if we just keep fighting?

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