Pacing 4 Parkinson's

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

For the last few years now, my husband Mike has been racing in the Baltimore Running Festival as a team member of a charity group called Pacing 4 Parkinson's that raises awareness and funds for Parkinson's research through the Johns Hopkins Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center.

As you may or may not know, my grandfather, Paul, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease quite a few years ago and has been fighting hard against it ever since. I believe I speak for our entire family when I say how difficult it has been to watch such a strong, wise, and gentle man essentially become a prisoner to his body. Anyone who has witnessed the progression of the disease knows how rough Parkinson's (as well as many other neurodegenerative disorders) is both physically and emotionally. My grandpa's struggle has affected us all immeasurably and for me personally, it became the driving force in my passion for science and research.

Shortly after we met, Mike found the Pacing 4 Parkinson's group and made a commitment to raise money every year and run the half-marathon in honor of my grandpa. He has always said he "runs for those who can't run for themselves."

It has always meant a lot to me and my family to have Mike supporting a cause that hits so close to home. His commitment to P4P and my grandpa  inspired me so much that I wanted to find a way to contribute as well - one that wouldn't require running thirteen miles. After watching him finish and take his photo with the P4P group at the race last year, I realized that there was a lot more I could be doing with the charity and that day we both decided to take our membership to a new level - we joined the P4P committee.

We are more than thrilled to be able to help out behind the scenes! Even as newbies, the group has entrusted us with quite a bit of responsibility - planning and participating in volunteering events,  running the social media pages (check out our Facebook and Twitter pages!), working to expand the team, organizing fundraisers and team runs, and assisting in making all kinds of decisions leading up to race day. I can't begin to tell you how excited we are to be working with such a great community of people and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to get to know so many folks fighting Parkinson's and hear their stories. It is so inspiring to be a part of this network.

If you know someone who has Parkinson's disease, or even if you're interested in hearing more about what we do, please feel free to take a look at our pages and read a little about us. I'm not asking for a donation or anything like that. My goal is simply to spread awareness and share a cause that we hold close to our hearts. You can find our homepage here and be sure to like us on Facebook and check us out on Twitter to follow along.

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