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Student to Kayak the Muskegon River for Parkinsonís Research, Beginning on Wednesday, May 15

Muskegon, MI, resident Cody Ledsworth is paddling against Parkinson’s disease. He will kayak across the 216-mile Muskegon River beginning on Wednesday, May 15 to raise money for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) in honor of his grandmother, who lives with the disease.

Mr. Ledsworth, 20, is studying environmental studies and travel and tourism at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. His grandmother, Marguerite, has been living with Parkinson’s disease for more than 10 years. After seeing how the disease progressed affecting her mobility and speech, Mr. Ledsworth was inspired to get involved in the cause. He decided to embark on a kayaking trip, the first with a length of this magnitude, to help raise funds and awareness of Parkinson’s, a disease for which there is no cure.

“Seeing my grandma and how my grandfather takes care of her, made me realize that I should dedicate my Muskegon River kayaking trip to benefit Parkinson's research, awareness and help for caregivers,” says Mr. Ledsworth on his motivation.

Mr. Ledsworth will kayak 30 miles a day beginning on Wednesday, May 15. Traveling with a tent and water proof barrels for food, he hopes to complete the journey down the Muskegon River to end at the Muskegon Lake within ten days. Working with the PDF Champions program, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Mr. Ledsworth hopes to exceed his fundraising goal of $500 to not only help find a cure for Parkinson’s, but recognize caregivers like his grandfather.

PDF Executive Director Robin Elliott said, “We are grateful for PDF Champions like Mr. Ledsworth 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. Ledsworth’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 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 10 2013