Today’s post is by Andrea Whitney, one of our tech support specialists.

Parkinsons 1APDA WALK 2013: “To Ease the burden..To find the cure”

I have gotten involved in the last couple of years in the local chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association. The Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association is a nonprofit that seeks to improve the quality of life of those living with Parkinson’s disease, which can impact every muscle, making it difficult to walk, talk, swallow, sleep and maintain balance. Those are some of 275 symptoms that can affect a person with Parkinson’s. It also helps through public awareness, advocacy, education and supporting research until a cure is found.

Having gone to the 6th annual walk in 2011, I realized we needed to change the venue. I started by discussing this with my mother, who is afflicted with the disease. We discussed changing the location of the walk and adding something beneficial to the walk. We happened to be discussing this when we were at our Sunday traditional brunch at the oceanfront. We were overlooking the ocean and a beautiful 31st Street Park. It was then we knew the perfect place for the walk.

We got involved with the local chapter and changed the location of the walk. We contacted the city, set a date, and started on our journey to the modernization and standardizing the annual walk. What we didn’t realize is the amount of creativity an event can present. We have BBQ restaurants providing food, other stores providing fruits, and water. We knew that people afflicted with Parkinson’s would appreciate tools, educational, and resources for the improvement of their quality of life. We decided to not only have the walk but to add several large covered tents to house all of the resources in an all weather accessible environment. It was an extremely successful walk ,with hundreds of compliments given, and we knew that we had done a good thing.

Here we are now, year 2 of the Walk, Talk, and Rock for Parkinson’s. “Walk” because an exercise trainer, known due to her appearance on Dr. Oz, will get you “revved up” before taking the 9-block (and back) walk on the boardwalk. “Talk,” because the resources can help anyone with a question. We have 20 specialists from attorneys to neurologists to a local campus that specializes in the education of Health Sciences careers. “Rock” because a DJ will provide sounds that will make you want to dance on the large dance floor, with King Neptune’s statue, offering an outstanding panoramic view. We have a good base and are building on last year’s experience. Thus, we have ballooned into an awesome event.

Will t-shirts be available? Oh, yes.
Will t-shirts be available? Oh, yes.

We will have Walk, Talk, and Rock 2013 at the 31 Street Park in Virginia Beach, VA, on April 13, 2013, from 10-1. We encouraged employees to give money to their place of work, totaling $100, or more (so the employer becomes a CORPORATE SPONSOR). This way, all the employees are placed on a VIP list, for no donation required to attend.

We know how much fun folks had last year, so this year we’re excited to offer even more. If you’re in town, we’ll see you there!

To learn more about Andrea’s work with this fantastic organization, email her.

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