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PDF Champion and Ole Miss Student to Hold Quidditch Tournament for Parkinsonís Research on Saturday, October 20

Corinth, MS, resident Megan Smith is using a touch of magic on her college campus to help make a difference for people with Parkinson’s disease. She is hosting a “Quidditch for Parkinson’s” tournament to benefit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) on Saturday, October 20 at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford.

Ms. Smith is a sophomore at Ole Miss studying biology. After completing a high school research project on Parkinson’s disease, she was inspired to study the science in college with her eye on pursuing a career in the research field. Passionate about the Parkinson’s cause, she is organizing a creative fundraiser inspired by the popular “Harry Potter” novels written by J.K. Rowling. As she notes, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, nor are there medications that can stop it from progressing.

Working with the PDF Champions program, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, she hopes the event will raise funds for research. The Quidditch tournament will be a modified version of the game played by wizards in the “Harry Potter” series. Teams of seven players will “ride” broomsticks and try to score points by throwing a ball into the elevated ring-shaped goals on the Ole Miss intramural fields. Registration to play in the tournament costs $5 or $3 to watch the games, with proceeds benefitting PDF.

Ms. Smith remarks on her motivation for the event, “I wanted to do something different and fun to get students aware of Parkinson’s disease. Why should I wait until I get my doctorate of philosophy to help make a difference? I can do something right now to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease by raising funds for research.”

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

To support Ms. Smith’s fundraising efforts, visit her personal donation page at or for more information 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 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 10 2012