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PDF Champion to Swim Across Lake Belle Taine in Honor of Mother to Benefit Parkinsonís Research, on Saturday, July 6

Rosemount, MN, native Eric Young is swimming against Parkinson’s disease. He will swim more than five and a half miles across Lake Belle Taine, beginning near Nevis, MN on Saturday, July 6 to raise money for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF).

Mr. Young, 40, works as a manager of charter flights with Delta Airlines and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. He is taking on the physical endeavor in memory of his late mother, Barbara Vandergraft, who lived with Parkinson’s for more than 27 years. He and his mother spent much time together at their family’s cabin on Lake Belle Taine, which has stood since 1902. After watching how Parkinson’s disease affected his mother and limited her mobility, Mr. Young was motivated to make a difference.

“Parkinson’s is a dreadful disease. The name isn’t out there as much as other diseases but the effects are just as devastating,” says Mr. Young. “No one has ever swum the entire lake before and knowing the special connection my mom had with our cabin and the lake, I wanted to be the first to do it in her name to hopefully find a cure and raise awareness of Parkinson’s.”

Working with the PDF Champions program, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Mr. Young, who has already surpassed his initial $5,000 fundraising goal, hopes to exceed his new goal of $7,500. Family members and friends will follow his journey across Lake Belle Taine in a flotilla of boats. Mr. Young, who has been training for more than eight months, will begin his swim on the west end.

PDF’s President, Robin Anthony Elliott said, “We are grateful for PDF Champions like Mr. Young 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. Young’s fundraising efforts, visit his personal fundraising page at 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 disease by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson's disease through educational programs and services. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated $100 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and $42 million to support education and advocacy programs.


Source Date: Jun 28 2013