KINGSTON, N.J., April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The 18th Annual Parkinson's Unity Walk (PUW) will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2012 in New York City's Central Park, The Parkinson Alliance announced today.
The PUW is the largest grassroots awareness and fundraising event for Parkinson's disease (PD) research in the United States. The event, which has grown from 200 participants in its inaugural year, is expected to unite more than 10,000 participants from across the globe.
"The annual Parkinson's Unity Walk is a powerful way for families, friends, caregivers, research organizations and major Parkinson's foundations to come together," said Martin Tuchman, Chairman of The Parkinson Alliance. "For any individual or family affected by Parkinson's disease who wants to feel the support, strength and compassion of a community – this Walk is where you should be."
Currently, more than 1 million individuals in the U.S. are living with PD and 60,000 are newly diagnosed annually. Funding for research, for the cause and cure, as well as therapies that will improve the quality of life for those with PD, is critical. The PUW donates one hundred percent of all donations directly to research. As the "unity" in its name implies, the funds raised are distributed evenly among the seven leading Parkinson's foundations in the country: American Parkinson Disease Association, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson's Action Network, The Parkinson Alliance, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, and The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center.
"The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) is proud to participate in and support the 2012 Parkinson's Unity Walk," said Joyce Oberdorf, NPF President and CEO. "This event truly unifies the whole Parkinson's community behind a common mission—supporting the best, cutting-edge research. It is like no other."
In addition to being able to walk with thousands of members of the Parkinson's community, participants are able to take full advantage of a myriad of available resources at the event, including information about clinical trials, educational material from leading Parkinson's organizations and information on how to become an advocate for the Parkinson's community. This day of community and education also provides individuals who might otherwise have limited access to experts in the field, a chance to speak directly with movement disorder specialists, neurosurgeons, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.
Most importantly, whether PUW participants are individuals diagnosed with PD seeking encouragement, family and friends showing support, caregivers desiring to know more, or researchers working toward new therapies, the PUW serves as a source from which to draw strength and build a greater community of support.
"It is by motivating, collaborating, educating and raising awareness of Parkinson's disease that we take important steps toward our goal of improving the quality of life of Parkinson's patients while we continue to work toward a cure," said Tuchman.
Attendees are also invited to visit the Abbott booth on Margot Zobel Way to leave their photo and inspirational message on the Messages of Hope™ Wall. For each message, Abbott, a leading global health care and medical research company, will donate $15, up to $15,000, to the PUW in support of research. Additionally, Abbott will invite walk participants to receive ongoing information about treatment and research through an opt-in text message campaign. For each individual who registers, Abbott will contribute an additional $1, up to $10,000, to the PUW.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Bandshell at 72nd Street in Central Park. The Kick-Off will start at 9:45 a.m., followed by a 1.4-mile, wheelchair-accessible walk through the Park.
To register or make a donation, go to www.unitywalk.org or call 866-789-9255.
About The Parkinson Alliance
The Kingston, NJ-based national non-profit is dedicated to raising funds to help finance the most promising research to find the cause and cure for Parkinson's disease, and is the umbrella organization for the Parkinson's Unity Walk. The Parkinson's Unity Walk is the largest grassroots fundraiser event for Parkinson's disease in the country. The inaugural Walk in 1994 had 200 participants and raised $16,000 for research. In the 2011 Walk, close to 10,000 walkers raised more than 1.5 million for Parkinson's research. From day one, 100% of donations have gone to research supported by the seven major U.S. Parkinson's foundations.
For more information and a complete list of grants supported by the Parkinson's Unity Walk, visit www.unitywalk.org.
SOURCE Parkinson's Unity Walk