The winner of the 2016 Kids-Only Parkinson's Awareness T-Shirt Contest is …
“Join the Team Ending Parkinson’s,” by Lea Dempsey of Princeton, NJ, in memory of her grandfather. “My design is of two people holding hands with PDF’s yellow tulip holding them together. It is important to me to raise awareness about Parkinson’s in memory of my grandfather who lived with this disease,” says Lea.
The t-shirt designed by Lea is available in adult and children's sizes. Order yours here.
- Rules and Regulations
- Deadlines and Submission
- Judging and Selection
- Winning Design
- Meet Past T-Shirt Designers
- Only designs from contestants ages five to 15 will be considered.
- All designs must use our April campaign slogan, “Join the team ending Parkinson’s.”
- All entries must incorporate PDF’s green and yellow and its trademarked tulip.
- Use a maximum of four (4) colors for your design – no gradients or transparent layers are allowed.
- Keep the design off the seams.
- Do not use dates or months in the design.
- Save the design as a .jpeg or .pdf at 1000x750 pixel resolution before uploading.
- Remember the design must be your own original unpublished work and must not contain any third-party logos, trademarks or copyright material.
- If you would like, please incorporate your signature into your design.
The deadline for sending in your design has now passed.
All entries will be voted upon by a committee of judges comprised of members of our Creativity and Parkinson’s Project as well as past T-Shirt Design Contest winners. After this committee selects our five finalists, the general public votes for the winning design on PDF’s website.
The winner will receive up to 10 complimentary t-shirts to share with their friends and family. The winner’s full name, personal story and photograph will be shared on PDF's website, print materials and with local media in the winner’s community. Please note: individuals with privacy concerns (those who prefer to avoid publicity) may choose alternative ways to get involved in Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
The winning design, and other finalist designs, may be featured on additional awareness materials such as PDF eCards and posters, or materials created by other PDF supporters to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson's.
2015 T-Shirt Design Contest Winner: Together We Can Fight Parkinson’s
A drawing by seven-year-old Mabel Johnson of Pittsfield, NH, came out on top in the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s (PDF) Sixth Annual Parkinson’s Awareness T-Shirt Design Contest. Mabel’s design was a contender along with 40 other submissions from children ages 5 to 15 years old. Her design was chosen as the winner by the general public in an online vote.
Mabel was inspired to enter the t-shirt contest in honor of her maternal grandmother, who lives with Parkinson’s disease. Her design featuring the words, “Together we can fight Parkinson’s,” is now being printed on PDF’s official 2015 PD awareness t-shirts, which will be worn by thousands of people around the country to raise awareness, especially during April’s Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
“Parkinson's can make it hard for Mimi to do things sometimes. It is hard for her to hold things in her hand. I would like to help so Parkinson's goes away,” says Mabel. “My Mimi is very proud and excited to see my picture.”
2014 T-Shirt Design Contest Winner: You Can Make a Difference in the Fight Against Parkinson’s
Bloomington, MN, resident Ruth Lotzer is a retired kindergarten teacher, who has lived with young onset Parkinson’s disease since 2002. She has been involved with the cause as a volunteer PDF Research Advocate and as an artist, by creating crafts and pins for Parkinson’s awareness. She says PDF’s t-shirt contest was another outlet to inspire others through a simple action.
“I want people to know that getting involved in the fight against Parkinson’s doesn't have to be complicated. You don't have to be famous or be a big shot. Anyone can do it! Find what you like to do best and do it for PD,” says Ms. Lotzer.
Her design features a hand-drawn version of PDF’s signature green and yellow tulip in the center of a frame, which encapsulates the phrase, “You Can Make a Difference in the Fight Against Parkinson’s.”
2013 T-Shirt Design Contest Winner: We Make a Difference
Benton, AR, resident Jeffrey Williams was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease in 2011 at the age of 42. Mr. Williams, who works as a graphic designer, was inspired to enter PDF’s t-shirt design contest to raise more awareness in his community about the disease he battles.
“This contest was a creative outlet for me to educate others about Parkinson’s disease,” he says. “You don’t always realize the challenges that come with Parkinson’s disease until it happens to you. I hope that when others wear this t-shirt, it will lead to more curiosity about Parkinson’s disease and ways to help fund research for a cure.”
His design features PDF’s signature green and yellow tulip logo encapsulating the phrase, “We make a difference in the fight against Parkinson’s disease.”
He remarks on the inspiration behind his design, “the tulip is hugging the slogan to represent organizations like PDF and all those who embrace the people affected by Parkinson’s disease and do everything they can to help us live better and find a cure.”
2012 T-Shirt Design Contest Winner: Optimism & Hope
Diane Malstrom’s stepfather has been living with Parkinson’s for more than 20 years. Ms. Malstrom originally visited PDF’s website to find caregiver resources for herself and her mother, when she saw the opportunity to use her creativity in the Parkinson's Awareness Month T-Shirt Design Contest.
Her design depicts a mountain engulfed in tulips with a climber reaching the top. She said, “Finding out my stepfather had Parkinson’s and watching it progress felt like a mountain climb. The person climbing the mountain in my design represents all of us, the caregivers, our loved ones, and the people living with Parkinson’s. Everyone is touched by the disease.”
Ms. Malstrom and her husband made a pact, after her design made the top five, to fly out to New York for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk if her design was chosen as the winner! PDF staff and volunteers enjoyed meeting them at the walk in April 2012, where they were able to see hundreds of people wearing the t-shirt Ms. Malstrom designed!
Ms. Malstrom hopes to use the experience to raise awareness for caregivers who also must cope with the effects of the disease. “To win this contest means so much because I really wanted to raise awareness not only about this disease but the resources available to caregivers and to show my stepfather how much we love him,” she says.
PDF congratulates Ms. Malstrom on her winning design.
2011: It May Shake Me, But It Can't Break Me
La Honda, CA resident Marian Bumala’s t-shirt design, "Parkinson’s Disease: It May Shake Me But It Can’t Break Me,” tied for the winning spot as part of the PDF 2011 Parkinson’s Awareness Month T-shirt Contest. The design was printed on thousands of t-shirts and was worn around the country during April 2011 to raise awareness.
Ms. Bumala’s t-shirt design depicted a tulip, the official symbol for Parkinson’s, rising above the sun. Written beneath the tulip are the words, “It may shake me, but it can’t break me,” signifying Ms. Bumala’s outlook that Parkinson’s may shake a person’s body and shake up a person’s life, but there is still hope. The slogan resonated with the thousands of voters who chose it.
Ms. Bumala is an electronics engineer who lives with Parkinson’s. She is very involved with the Parkinson’s community on a local level - serving as an active member of a local support group, a clinical trial participant and a regular participant of Sunnyvale, CA’s annual Unity Walk, a local branch of the New York City walk.
She said of her design, “It is a wonderful feeling to be able to help out in the Parkinson’s community by doing something I enjoy – graphic design. I’m grateful to PDF for this opportunity and hope that my design will raise awareness of the disease.”
Robin Elliott, Executive Director of PDF, said, “Ms. Bumala’s t-shirt slogan “It may shake me, but it can’t break me” reflects the dedication the community has to beating this disease. We congratulate Ms. Bumala for tying for first place in the Parkinson’s Awareness Month T-shirt contest and for helping to demonstrate our community’s continued urgency to find a cure.”
Heather Hinrichsen’s Fight to Win design for Parkinson’s Awareness Month was featured on a t-shirt worn by hundreds of people throughout the US in 2010. She submitted her design to the PDF Parkinson’s Awareness Month T-Shirt Contest in early 2010 and received over 800 of the 1,900 votes, beating four other designs. What’s the story behind her design and how did she do it?
Ms. Hinrichsen, 36 years old, lives with young-onset Parkinson’s. A busy mom, she and her husband Todd have two children, ages 2 and 3. She does her best to check the websites of Parkinson’s organizations, such as PDF, every few weeks. In February, she found a story about PDF’s Parkinson’s Awareness Month T-Shirt Contest. An avid scrapbooker, Ms. Hinrichsen wanted to try her hand at it. She and Todd had previously discussed designing a Parkinson’s t-shirt, so she thought, “Why not design it for the contest?”
Ms. Hinrichsen’s design, featured above, includes the phrase, Fight to Win, a message that seemed to resonate with the voters who pushed her design to the top of the list. She chose this phrase because it’s something she has done herself while coping with young-onset Parkinson’s.
Ms. Hinrichsen was diagnosed at the age of 33, when her first child was just three months old. She fought to come to terms with her diagnosis as a young mom, to find the right doctor to address her needs as a young person with Parkinson’s, and to find support from people who could understand what she was going through. Less than two years after her diagnosis, she and Todd had their second child. She is now a stay-at-home mom to her two young children and occasionally still works in a volunteer capacity in her career as a physician assistant, for example, recently flying to Haiti with a medical team to assist with earthquake relief efforts. She also found friendship among a support group made up solely of young mothers who are living with PD.
What is her hope for the awareness t-shirt? Ms. Hinrichsen says, “First, I hope that by sharing my story, people will realize that Parkinson’s is not just an older person’s disease. It can strike younger people. Through the shirt design, I also want to spread the message to everyone to fight PD. I plan to fight until I win - I have PD, but it doesn't have me."
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