Parkinson’s Moving Day helps raise awareness, funds for disease

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Patients, their families and advocates warmed up and walked together outside Soldier Field Sunday morning for the Parkinson’s Foundation’s largest annual fundraising event.

“We celebrate the importance of movement of all kinds, exercise, in managing Parkinson’s symptoms,” Allison Liefer of the Parkinson’s Foundation said.

For people like Mary Ellen Oliver, support from the foundation runs deep.

“20 years ago I felt stiff and had lost my ability to write, and I went to the doctor. You know, nobody thinks that that’s Parkinson’s and you know I was a young mom, I had young kids in grade school. And it was sort of devastating at the time because I didn’t know enough about Parkinson’s,” Oliver said.

For her daughter, Oliver remains a source of inspiration.

“Watching her help so many people, taking each day by strike, she gives a lot of people hope,” daughter Colleen Serlin said.

The crowd at this event raised more than $400,000 for research, including genetic testing. The foundation said that 10 to 15 percent of patients have a genetic form of the disease.

Those with the mutation can join clinical trials for new treatments, with discoveries that could have even a broader impact.


“I hope that there is a cure someday soon and I’m a part of that,” Oliver said.

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