Walk for Parkinson

Did you know that April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month? Every nine minutes, someone in the U.S. learns that they have Parkinson’s disease. That means 60,000 patients will be diagnosed this year alone, with approximately 20,000 of them being Central Floridians.

The Parkinson Association of Central Florida is an organization that works to deliver helpful resources to Parkinson’s disease patients, their families, and caregivers in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties. Since its foundation in 2012, PACF has succeeded in improving the quality of life for all people impacted by Parkinson’s disease through research, education, fundraising, and outreach. 

This year PACF will continue its efforts by hosting its 8th annual Walk for Parkinson on Saturday, April 2, at Cranes Roost Park. The Walk for Parkinson is used to generate awareness and understanding about the disease while also raising funds to find a cure.

John Gabriel, Executive Advisor for the Orlando Magic and PACF board member, will serve as PACF’s master of ceremonies. He will have a walk team and expresses why participating in this event is significant to him.

“As someone who is living with Parkinson’s, I understand the many challenges it can bring to an individual and their family,” Gabriel says. “We are striving to reach our goal of bringing world-class care for movement disorders to our community.”

The Walk for Parkinson also highlights the importance of movement and exercise when working to overcome movement disorders.  Studies show that improving flexibility and mobility through movement is a beneficial and proven way to help manage symptoms of the disease.

“Our aim is to encourage people to stay active and ‘move’ for better health – and one of the ways they can do that is to join the Walk for Parkinson,” says Cheryl Bennett, Executive Director of PACF. “Whether participants enter as a team or join the event as individuals, they’ll get a chance to move with hundreds of supporters who share a common goal to help beat Parkinson’s.”

PACF’s goal is to raise $150,000 this year for research and local community programs that enhance the quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s. Funds will also go toward a $250,000 pledge to help develop a comprehensive Parkinson’s and movement disorder specialty program at AdventHealth, as well as other local Parkinson’s initiatives.

Registration for the walk begins at 8 a.m.; opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m.; and the walk begins at 9:30 a.m. Participants can register as individuals, or in teams, at www.parkinsoncf.org/walk2022. For more information about PACF visit, www.parkinsoncf.org.

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Written by Staff Writer

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