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Third Annual “Stepping Up the Pace with Parkinson’s” Walk Set for Saturday, October 6

New York, NY — Fayetteville, AR, residents can make a difference in the fight against Parkinson’s disease at the Third Annual Stepping Up the Pace with Parkinson’s Walk/Run on Saturday, October 6. The one-mile walk to benefit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) will take place from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the Pat Walker Center for Seniors at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville.

The event was founded by Gillian Woods, Ph.D., a gerontologist at Washington Regional Medical Center, and her close friend Kay Gay, a registered dietitian at Butterfield Trail Village. Mrs. Gay not only works with people living with Parkinson’s, but also was diagnosed with the disease.  The pair, along with other professionals working with people who have Parkinson’s, felt Northwest Arkansas needed a major Parkinson’s event to empower those touched by the disease and fundraise for research to find a cure. Working with the PDF Champions program, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Stepping Up the Pace has raised more than $10,000 since its inception and welcomed an average of 130 walkers each year.

Dr .Woods remarks, “Stepping Up the Pace with Parkinson’s is about empowering people in a variety of ways – whether through exercise, creativity or the building of new connections and friendships.  We are fundraising for PDF in particular because it too empowers people with Parkinson’s by providing places for the community to express themselves creatively and feel like they have a voice.”

Dr. Woods is referring to several PDF programs including the Creativity and Parkinson’s Project, an initiative embraced by the Fayetteville support group, which encourages those living with Parkinson’s to explore their creativity and its potentially beneficial effects.  In addition to the online gallery of artwork, the project boasts a global Parkinson’s Quilt created by 600 individuals. At this Saturday’s walk, participants can visit a display of the section of the Quilt that was sewn by local support group members.

In the vein of empowerment, the day will include a variety of other activities for families affected by Parkinson’s, such as an educational lecture on physical activity by Alan Diamond, D.O., also of Washington Regional’s Movement Disorders Clinic, free publications and a silent auction of artwork by local artists living with Parkinson’s.

Robin Elliott, Executive Director of PDF, said “We are grateful for PDF Champions like Dr. Woods and Mrs. Gay who are dedicated to funding the most promising research and raising awareness about the impact of Parkinson’s. Their efforts to help PDF improve the lives and futures of the nearly one million people across the country living with Parkinson’s are inspiring.”

Pre-registration to participate in the walk is required. Registration costs $10, with all proceeds benefitting PDF, and includes a t-shirt and breakfast.

For more information about Stepping Up the Pace, contact Dr. Woods at (479) 463-4419 or contact PDF at (800) 457-6676, or

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 Quilt
The Parkinson's Quilt, led by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, is the first global quilt to focus the world's attention on the nearly one million people in the US and seven to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson's.  The quilt aims to raise awareness of the impact that the disease has on people living with Parkinson’s and on our continued urgency to find a cure.  More than 600 people living with and affected by Parkinson’s created the panels that comprise the quilt. 

The Parkinson’s Quilt was displayed for the first time at the 2nd World Parkinson Congress in September 2010.  PDF is now offering sections of the quilt for display to the general public to ensure that the quilt continues its journey around the world to raise awareness.

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 $96 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $40 million to support national education and advocacy programs.


Source Date: Oct 03 2012