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PDF Champion to Run 350 Miles Across Michigan for Parkinsonís Research, Beginning on Friday, May 3

Grand Rapids, MI resident, Roger Bonga is on the run for Parkinson's research. He will run more than 350 miles across the state of Michigan beginning on Friday, May 3, to raise money for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) in memory of his grandmother, who lived with Parkinson's disease.

When Mr. Bonga isn't working as the head winemaker at Cascade Winery in Kentwood, he is putting his body to the test. The avid athlete is an ultrarunner, with several 100 mile-plus races under his belt. His latest endeavor fulfills a longtime goal of running across the state and has special meaning. He is running in memory of his late grandmother who lived with Parkinson's disease. He says after sharing his plans with others, he realized how Parkinson's, a disease for which there is no cure, affected many of his friends' relatives as well.

Mr. Bonga will begin his run at the Upper Peninsula in Sault Ste. Marie on Friday, May 3 and run more than 30 miles a day for 10 days until reaching the Indiana border. Working with the PDF Champions program, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, he hopes to exceed his fundraising goal of $5,000 to help find a cure for Parkinson's.

"I remember how my grandmother struggled with Parkinson's disease. I hope that my run will raise more awareness and funds for Parkinson's research," says Mr. Bonga on his motivation.

PDF Executive Director Robin Elliott said, "We are grateful for PDF Champions like Mr. Bonga who are dedicated to funding the most promising research and raising awareness about the impact of Parkinson's. His 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 Mr. Bonga's fundraising efforts, visit his personal fundraising page at or for more information contact PDF at (800) 457-6676, or

Below is a tentative timeline for the stops along Mr. Bonga's run:

Friday, May 3rd Sault Ste. Marie
Saturday, May 4th Pellston
Sunday, May 5th Boyne Falls
Monday, May 6th Kalkaska
Tuesday, May 7th Cadillac
Wednesday, May 8th Big Rapids
Thursday, May 9th Rockford
Friday, May 10th Yankee Springs
Saturday, May 11th Portage
Sunday, May 12th St. Joseph County, Indiana border

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: May 01 2013