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PDF Champions in Action

Secret Marathon for Mom

When Kate Jaggard called the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) to discuss raising money by running a marathon in honor of her mother, PDF staff showed her how to create her own page on the PDF website ( to raise awareness and funds for her project.

Kate immediately set up her page, but she and her fellow runner, her father Bruce, kept the website and their entire project a secret from her mother, Alice.  Kate’s mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease around 2002.  Despite her diagnosis, Alice continued life as usual, never complaining to her family about how the disease impacted her life.

After several months of training and creative efforts by Kate and her Dad in publicizing their race, they told her mom about their plans.  Not only did they tell her about it; they also showed her by revealing their personalized webpages (they had two because of a friendly father/daughter fundraising competition).  On each of the pages, numerous friends and family had left touching comments about the role Kate’s mom plays in their lives — quotes like, “Kate, your mom is one of a kind!,” and, “I think the world of your mom!”  Alice was touched and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her family.

On November 2, 2008, Kate and her Dad ran the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon in four hours and 11 minutes, while her mom cheered them on.  The pay-off, from the generosity of their family and friends, totaled $5,613 to support Parkinson’s research, education and advocacy.

Kate said of her experience, “I see how frustrating the symptoms of Parkinson’s can be and admire my mother’s strength and courage as she lives with this disease.  I wanted to show support for her, but I was never sure how.  PDF made it so simple to be able to combine my dad’s and my love for running with our love for my mom.”

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PDF thanks Kate and her family for their dedication to Parkinson’s research, education and advocacy.  If you are interested in running a marathon for PDF, please contact us at (800) 457-6676 or