The Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of East Tennessee (PK Hope Is Alive) will host its fourth annual walk to raise funds for Parkinson’s Disease research on Saturday, April 25.
The walk will be held at A.K. Bissell Park at the Oak Ridge Civic Center. Registration at the Pavilion will start at 9 a.m. The walk will take place between 10 a.m. and noon.
PK Hope Is Alive has raised an average of $20,000 in each of its three previous walks.
The local walk will be in conjunction with the 21stÂ annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk held in New York City. This walk is organized by the Parkinson Alliance, a nonprofit umbrella organization dedicated to raising funds to help finance the most promising research to find the cause and cure for Parkinson’s Disease. One hundred percent of all funds raised will be distributed to major U. S. Parkinson’s Disease foundations, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system, involving a degeneration of certain nerve cells in deep parts of the brain. These cells make the neurochemical messenger dopamine. The loss of dopamine causes a variety of movement problems.
Estimates suggest that more than one million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s Disease, and it is estimated that 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Parkinson’s Disease occurs in equal numbers of men and women.
Originally called â€œshaking palsy,â€ people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease exhibit a wide range of symptoms in addition to tremors, including rigidity, difficulty swallowing, loss of taste and smell, small handwriting, soft voice, and others.
To register as a walker and join the PK Hope Is Alive team or to sponsor a walker online, go to www.unitywalk.org. If you would like to make a donation, send a check made out to Parkinson’s Unity Walk to Karen Sampsell at 117 Newhaven Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37830.
There will be a variety of activities at the walk including the bluegrass band Brandywine, which consists of banjo, guitar, and bass. Â Information tables will be manned by speech and physical therapists, Medtronic, the Parkinson’s Action Network, and East Tennessee Personal Care Services. There will be prize drawings for adults and children and information bags given to participants at the finish line.
T-shirts commemorating the walk will will be given to walkers who have raised $50 and are present the day of the walk while supplies last.
For more information about the fundraising walk, call Karen Sampsell at (865) 482-4867.