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WPC 2013 save the date

Linda Morgan WPC 2013

Maria DeLeon WPC 2013

Robin Elliott WPC 2013


WPC Reporters

Keep up with the 3rd World Parkinson Congress in Montreal this week with our on-the-ground reporters - members of our People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council (PPAC) and PDF Research Advocates. Browse their biographies below and be sure to check the PDF blog for the latest on the WPC 2013.


Diane Cook, Denver, CO
Member, PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council; PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Cook is a part-time management consultant for Cook & Company who focuses on leadership development, team-building, assessment and training. She has been active in the fight against Parkinson’s since her diagnosis in 2008. At the WPC 2013, she will be presenting a session, “Psychological Solutions to Dealing with Pity, Dignity, Sense of Worth, and Communication,” and a workshop, “The Research Process and Advances in Communication Between Researchers and Participants.” A WPC veteran, she also presented at the 2nd World Parkinson Congress in Scotland, in 2010.


Jackie Hunt Christensen, Minneapolis, MN
PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Christensen is an author, speaker and environmental and health activist. She has been living with Parkinson’s since 1998. She is the author of Life With a Battery-Operated Brain, about her experience with deep brain stimulation. As a PDF Research Advocate, she served as a patient representative to an advisory committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At WPC 2013, she is presenting a poster, “Do I Look Like I Care? – Parkinson’s Disease and its Potential Effects Upon Relationships.” She also presented at the 2nd World Parkinson Congress in Scotland, in 2010.


Steve DeWitte, Washington, CT
Member, PDF with Parkinson's Advisory Council; PDF Research Advocate

Mr. DeWitte is a business executive with 25 years of experience in public relations, marketing, advertising, fundraising and event planning as well as employee management. As one of PDF's Research Advocates, Mr. DeWitte launched the Clinical Trial Transportation Program (CTTP). It has helped more than 26 volunteers to participate in research studies by transporting them by van from Connecticut to Boston. At WPC 2013, he is presenting at a workshop, "How Researchers and People with Parkinson's Can Advance Clinical Trials Together."


Sue Dubman, M.A., Tewksbury, MA
PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Dubman has an extensive professional background in government, health, information technology and clinical research, which includes time working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a PDF Research Advocate, she has been particularly interested in finding ways to coordinate data collection across Parkinson's research studies testing new therapies. At the WPC 2013, she will present a poster, "Getting Involved in Parkinson's Research: PDF Research Advocates Share Their Experiences"; and another, "Enabling Research through Informatics: A Researcher Turned Patient's Point of View."


Kim and Lizabeth Erickson, Stillwater, MN
PDF Research Advocates

Kim Erickson and his wife Lizabeth are veterans of the US Air Force. Since Mr. Erickson was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2010 at the age of 55, he and his wife have been working together to bring about better treatments at a faster pace. The couple actively participates in clinical trials and pairs up with researchers at Park Nicollet Health Services' Struthers Parkinson's Center in Golden Valley, MN. They co-presented on how people living with Parkinson's can play a role in research as part of PDF's PAIR online course. At WPC 2013, they will present on a panel, "Getting Involved in Parkinson's Research: PDF Research Advocates Share Their Experiences."


Linda Hinkle, Indianapolis, IN
PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Hinkle currently works in the banking field after a 20-year career managing rental and retail stores. She has been living with Parkinson's since 2002. She actively educates her community by staffing PDF informational tables and sharing educational materials at awareness events across the region. For Parkinson's Awareness Month 2011, she teamed up with fellow PDF Research Advocates and the NBA's Indiana Pacers to hold an awareness event that included a reading of a PAM proclamation at half time. She will attend the WPC 2013.


Robin Katsaros, Los Altos Hills, CA
PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Katsaros is a social media marketing professional who works in the technology industry. She is a care partner to her husband, John, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2008. Since then, she has jumpstarted a local support group for care partners. The PDF Research Advocate educates others about local Parkinson's research studies and pairs up with key researchers and organizations in her region. She will attend the WPC 2013.


Jessie Lyle, Langley, WA
PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Lyle is a small business owner and avid artist, with a background in painting and floral design. She also works offering supportive therapies to people in elder care and medical settings. She has been living with Parkinson's since 2009. As a PDF Research Advocate, she is especially interested in partnering with scientists who are studying complementary therapies, such as art, dance and music therapy, for their potential to enhance the quality of life for those living with Parkinson's. At the WPC 2013, she will present her artwork in the Creativity Theater.


Linda M. Morgan, M.B.A., R.Ph., Asheville, NC
Member, PDF People with Parkinson's Advisory Council; PDF Research Advocate; Member, Program Committee, WPC 2013

Ms. Morgan is a registered pharmacist, currently working part-time managing a birth defects prevention program. Since her diagnosis of Parkinson's in 2005, she has participated in 25 clinical trials, including a weeklong inpatient trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to help speed better treatments. She has spoken about the importance of patient engagement in research on the regional and national level. At the WPC 2013, she will present a question and answer session, "Fundamentals of Parkinson's Disease;" and a workshop, "How Researchers and People with Parkinson's Can Advance Clinical Trials Together." She also presented at the 2nd World Parkinson Congress in Scotland, in 2010.


Patti Meese, Scottsdale, AZ
PDF Research Advocate; PDF Creativity Artist

Ms. Meese is known throughout her community for her creative Parkinson's awareness efforts, which include a 10-mile bike ride in stiletto heels. As a PDF Research Advocate, she actively works to inform her community about the latest research and ways to improve day-to-living with Parkinson's. Ms. Meese was instrumental in co-organizing a PAIR Up for Parkinson's Research event with major institutions in Phoenix, AZ. She is especially passionate about sharing with others how music and creativity can help cope with the diagnosis. At the WPC 2013, she will present a poster session, "My Life and the Positive Power of Singing with the Tremble Clefs."


Girija Muralidhar, Ph.D., Poway, CA
PDF Research Advocate

Dr. Muralidhar is a research scientist who is studying the immunological aspects of Parkinson's, with a particular interest in controlling inflammation. She actively pairs up with other researchers and participates in clinical trials at the University of California, San Diego. She will attend the WPC 2013.


Jay and Marilyn Phillips, P.T.
, Charleston, SC
PDF Research Advocates

Mr. Phillips was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2010. Since then, he and his wife Marilyn have worked to educate their community about the latest Parkinson's research. Mrs. Phillips is a retired physical therapist and former director of professional development at the American Physical Therapy Association. She collaborated with PDF to develop a seminar for physical therapists to better care for people with Parkinson's. At the WPC 2013, they will present in the Clinical Research Village.


Gloria "Glo" Richman, Sun City, AZ
PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Richman has been living with Parkinson's since 2004. Since then, she has worked to help others avoid the challenges of Parkinson's. She helped organize a PAIR Up for Parkinson's Research event with major institutions in Phoenix, AZ to educate others. She will attend the WPC 2013.


Peggy Willocks, Johnson City, TN
Member, PDF People with Parkinson's Advisory Council

Ms. Willocks is a former elementary school principal. She is the author of PDF's fact sheet, Traveling with PD, and is featured in PDF's Diagnosis Parkinson's: You Are Not Alone educational booklet and DVD. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 44. She has made several presentations and published numerous articles at the local, state, national and international levels on getting involved in Parkinson's research. She will attend the WPC 2013. A WPC veteran, she presented at the WPC 2006, serving on its Creativity Subcommittee and attended the WPC 2010 in Scotland, serving on the Quilt Committee.


Carolyn Weaver
, Freeland, MI
PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Weaver worked in the medical and retail marketing field, in which she helped implement a program to teach medical professionals to have a positive attitude towards their colleagues and patients. She travels across Michigan presenting to support groups about getting involved in Parkinson's research. She also shares posters and informational displays throughout her community for Parkinson's Awareness Month. She is the author of PDF's fact sheet, Service Dogs for PD. At the WPC 2013, she will co-lead a roundtable, "Service Dogs and Parkinson's: Everything you Need to Know."


Ronnie Wanetick, Walnut Creek, CA
PDF Research Advocate

Ms. Wanetick worked as a teacher for 20 years. She shared her personal story about getting involved in research to inspire others by authoring, My Journey to Advocacy, which was published in support group newsletters across the San Francisco Bay area. The PDF Research Advocate also works to get local government proclamations during Parkinson's Awareness Month. She will attend the WPC 2013.