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Press Releases

Denver Area Residents Pair Up for Parkinsonís Research on Saturday, May 19

Denver, CO, area advocates, led by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), in collaboration with the Parkinson Association of the Rockies (PAR), the Colorado Neurological Institute, and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, are calling upon the community to “PAIR Up for Parkinson’s Research.”  Kitsi Atkinson, Diane Cook, Valerie Graham, and Kate Kelsall are partnering with the organizations to host a free educational forum on Saturday, May 19 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Englewood, CO. 

“PAIR Up for Parkinson’s Research” is one in a series of 30 educational forums being held nationwide this spring.  They are hosted by members of PDF’s Parkinson’s Advocates in Research (PAIR) program – a group that includes Ms. Atkinson, Ms. Cook, Ms. Graham and Ms. Kelsall.

Led by the Research Advocates and faculty from each institution, the forum will provide people with Parkinson’s and their loved ones with information about local Parkinson’s research and how to get involved.  Rajeev Kumar, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., from the Colorado Neurological Institute, along with University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty, including Brian D. Berman, M.D., M.S., Benzi Kluger, M.D., M.S., and Margaret Schenkman, P.T., Ph.D., F.A.P.T.A., Program Director of Physical Therapy Education, will discuss studies taking place in the Denver area.  Ms. Cook and other advocates will provide tips for those considering volunteering for a study.  They will also formally recognize the study volunteers who make new Parkinson’s treatments possible. 

All four women are living with Parkinson’s and have been active in the Parkinson’s cause locally and nationally, taking on roles that include support group leaders, bloggers and advisory council members for several organizations.  They have all completed one of PDF’s intensive three-day trainings to join the Parkinson’s Advocates in Research program, through which they work to speed new treatments for Parkinson’s.

Ms. Cook spoke of the group’s motivation, “We are fortunate to live in an area where we have several outstanding institutions conducting groundbreaking Parkinson’s research.  Our researchers need participants to move their research forward.  People living with Parkinson’s need opportunities to participate in research.  It just made sense to get everyone together to make the connections.”

Robin Elliott, Executive Director of PDF, said “We are grateful to Ms. Cook and her colleagues for educating their communities about studies and helping people to ask the right questions before volunteering.  Most important, we thank those volunteers who have participated in studies.  It is because of them that we will succeed in finding new treatments to improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.”

Those interested in learning more about “PAIR Up for Parkinson’s Research,” may contact the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation by calling (800) 457-6676 or emailing

About Parkinson’s Disease

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 the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is a leading national presence in Parkinson’s disease research, education and public advocacy. We are 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.

About Colorado Neurological Institute

Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) is a non-profit organization founded in 1988 by a group of neurosurgeons and neurologists who wanted to provide the best possible treatment, education and research to patients with a wide array of neurological conditions.  More than 40 member physicians and neuroscientists work with CNI to enhance patient experiences and outcomes.  CNI tracks patient outcomes, provides patient navigation, hosts a robust outpatient neuro rehab program, facilitates support groups in several neurological conditions, and coordinates more than 30 active clinical trials in the areas of Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, brain & spinal tumors, spinal cord injuries, stroke, hearing, MS, neuro rehab, interventional neuro-radiology and more.  For more information visit: or call (303) 788-4010.

About Parkinson Association of the Rockies

Since its formation in 1981, Parkinson Association of the Rockies has been a valuable resource to the Rocky Mountain community, providing direct care services including support groups, in-home case assessment and an information hotline to individuals living with Parkinson's, their families and caregivers, as well as the general community.  Over the past 30 years, Parkinson Association of the Rockies has become an active association offering its members and the community tangible and innovative resources that have transformed the way patients and caregivers manage Parkinson’s disease.


Source Date: May 16 2012