Adjust Text Size:change font sizechange font sizechange font sizechange font sizechange font sizechange font size

Percent of dollars spent on our mission

PDF is committed to using your funds efficiently to support our mission. To see how funds are spent, browse our financial information.

Learn More

PDF Champions In Action

13.1 Miles for Mom

As Karen and Brian Staron prepared to run their first half-marathon, they knew it would be a challenge. For Karen, however, who has watched her mom live with Parkinson’s disease (PD) for over 25 years, the training was “nothing compared to the challenges that my mom faces daily, and has faced almost my whole life.”

Karen’s mom, LaVerne, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1981 at the age of 43, when Karen was only six years old. Karen and her four brothers grew up with Parkinson’s as a part of their daily lives.

When the households of Karen and her mother merged three years ago, Karen experienced in greater depth the daily realities of PD, such as the complexity of managing medications. This only further increased her admiration of her mother’s spirit.

Karen and Brian knew that friends were developing a new local half-marathon — the Palos Bank Southwest Half Marathon — that would run through the nearby south side of Chicago. When 2008 was announced as the year for its launch, Karen and Brian decided to combine their running goal with raising funds for a very personal cause — Parkinson’s — in honor of LaVerne.

By the time Karen and Brian completed the race on Sunday, May 4th, they had raised an impressive $2,626 for PDF’s research programs — more than double their original goal!

PDF would like to thank Karen and Brian for their efforts to raise funds and awareness for PD!

Join the PDF Champions Marathon Team!

Are you inspired by Karen and Brian’s story?

If you would like to raise money for Parkinson’s research and run in one of the world’s major marathons, please consider joining the PDF Champions Team. We still have a few spots left for the Berlin and Chicago Marathons (on September 28 and on October 12, respectively).

By participating in the PDF Champions program, you will have access to online training programs, personalized web pages, gear, fund raising tips and assistance from PDF staff. Runners who choose to take on this challenge, will commit to raising a minimum of $2,500 for PDF.

If you are interested, please contact Patrick Johnson at or (800) 457-6676.