To help fight against Parkinson’s disease, the Parkinson Alliance was formed in 1999 and while based in Kingston, it is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for the most promising Parkinson’s research to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
“Funding research is vital to finding a cure. Through our nationally and locally known events and programs, and with the backing of our supporters, we fund not only symptomatic research, but also research that improves the quality of life of those who are living with Parkinson’s, as well as research that slows or halts disease progression,” states Carol Walton, CEO of the Parkinson Alliance.
Locally the Parkinson Alliance raises funds via its annual Carnegie Center 5K and Fun Run, held every fall in Princeton. This USATF-certified and sanctioned 5K race and one-mile fun run brings together individual runners and teams to raise donations in support of research. The 2016 race broke fundraising records when it raised more than $110,000, pushing the race over the $1,000,000 milestone!
Nationally the organization is responsible for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, held every spring in New York City’s Central Park. 100 percent of donations raised by supporters go to research. What began in 1994 with only 200 participants is now known as the largest single-day grassroots Parkinson’s fundraiser in the U.S. The 2016 Unity Walk brought together nearly 10,000 participants and raised more than $1,400,000 for research!
Team Parkinson is another event organized by the Parkinson Alliance. It has a unique mission to not only raise funds and awareness, but also to empower people with Parkinson’s to take charge of their lives through exercise. Team Parkinson participates in races all over the country and is an official charity of the Los Angeles Marathon.
In addition to fundraisers, the Parkinson Alliance is committed to providing patient education. Margaret Tuchman, president of the Parkinson Alliance and person living with Parkinson’s disease, founded DBS4PD.org. This online neighborhood keeps the Parkinson’s community connected and informed, and invites people with Parkinson’s to participate in patient surveys based on topics relevant to the disease. The surveys obtain the patient’s perspective, giving individuals with Parkinson’s disease a voice. Survey results are distributed to patients as well as healthcare professionals and caregivers, and are available for everyone to download. Walton explains that, “By providing education to patients and those who are involved in their care, we are improving the quality of care given to individuals with Parkinson’s, as well as their quality of life.”
“There are so many ways to get involved with our organization. We welcome anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease who are looking for ways to improve their quality of life, as well as anyone concerned with finding a cure, to join us in the fight against Parkinson’s disease,” explained Walton.
Each support counts and anyone who wants to learn more about the Parkinson Alliance is encouraged to visit its website at www.parkinsonalliance.org or call 800-579-8440.