NEW YORK, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to offer free resources and tools to support communities around the United States (US) in making a difference during April, Parkinson's Awareness Month.
PDF estimates that during the month of April alone, 5,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with Parkinson's. Earlier this year, the National Center for Health Statistics reported an increase in the death rate for Parkinson's, demonstrating an urgent need for better treatments, improved care and a cure for neurological diseases such as Parkinson's. As part of the solution, PDF emphasizes in its research, education and advocacy programs, tools that can empower individuals working at the grassroots level to propel the cause forward.
With this philosophy, PDF offers its 2012 "Make a Difference in the Fight Against Parkinson's Toolkit and Campaign." The centerpiece of the campaign is a print and online toolkit, "30 Ways to Raise Awareness of Parkinson's,"available free to individuals touched by Parkinson's, support groups and health care professionals. How will you make a difference for someone you know living with Parkinson's? Here are some ideas:
Educate Yourself and Others
Take advantage of PDF's free educational programs, including an online PD ExpertBriefing, "Parkinson's Medications: Today and Tomorrow," on Tuesday, April 17 or one of PDF's "Pair up for Parkinson's Research" forums around the country. Physical therapists can join, Parkinson's Disease: A Practical Approach to Evaluation and Treatment for the Physical Therapist, on Friday, April 20 in New York, NY, or online.
Partner with your local library. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library System in Louisiana is partnering with PDF to include awareness displays – featuring free PDF posters and educational materials – at its main library and each of its 12 branches.
Spread the Word
Spread the word on social media using free downloadable banners from PDF's website or by submitting your works to the 2012 "Make a Difference in the Fight Against Parkinson's Photo and Video Campaign."
Wear the "Optimism and Hope" t-shirt, designed by Diane Malstrom of Twain Harte, CA, which was chosen by hundreds of community members.
Support the Cure
Double your donation to research by supporting the Irving G. Brilliant Research Challenge. Mr. Brilliant, a person living with Parkinson's, will match each donation made up to $100,000 during April.
Support PDF Champions Ambassador and WNBA Star Ivory Latta's First Celebrity-Bowl-a-Thon on Thursday, March 29 in Atlanta, GA.
Shop at one of Gristedes supermarkets in New York, a network of 30 stores, as part of "Tulips Bloom for Parkinson's." Purchase a paper tulip at checkout in exchange for a $1 donation. It will be displayed at the store with your name to raise awareness.
PDF Executive Director Robin Elliott spoke about the impact of Parkinson's Awareness Month, "I never cease to be amazed by the inspiring people with Parkinson's and loved ones who have taken charge and 'made a difference' in their own lives and in their communities. They are the ones who move the cause forward for all of us, and for future generations, during Parkinson's Awareness Month and beyond."
PDF volunteer and person with Parkinson's, Pam Quinn, of Brooklyn, NY, summarized the importance of individuals who make a difference during April, "Awareness of Parkinson's leads to compassion, compassion leads to giving, giving leads to research, and research will lead to a cure."
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's.
About Parkinson's Disease Foundation
The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is a leading national presence in Parkinson's disease research, education and public advocacy. PDF is working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson's by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson's through educational programs and services. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated over $90 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $37 million to support national education and advocacy programs.