The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) has raised almost $1 million through the Moving Day, A Walk for Parkinson’s initiative that took place this spring. The funding will be invested in mission services in Washington, D.C., Tampa, and the Bay Areain CA, designed to improve the lives of patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
The foundation announced the results of the fundraising campaign in a press release, as they plan to support hundreds of thousands in additional services. NPF will also award local community grants for health, wellness and education programs for Parkinson’s patients and caregivers. “Moving Day supports local and national services that make life better for people living with Parkinson’s and their families,” explained NPF’s president and CEO Joyce Oberdorf. “We are filling a vital need in Parkinson’s communities nationwide.”
Funds raised through the Moving Day initiative are going to award local services in six different locations, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami (South Florida) and North Carolina. NPF’s mission is to support the NPF Center of Excellence network, which offers care to over 50,000 patients worldwide as well as breakthrough research such as the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project. The foundation also aims to provide free resources for patients and families like a toll-free Helpline and free hospital kit.
The 2015 community grants are mainly focued on fulfilling unmet needs in the communities, such as services for underserved people, clinical trial recruitment for under-represented populations or financial barriers, whilr designing a new program for Parkinson’s patients. Among the projects to receive funding is the Parkinson’s Family Support.
“We have seen therapeutic arts-based programming achieve tremendous results with regard to improving physical, psychological, and social functioning, as well as quality of life for people with Parkinson’s,” stated the director of Parkinson’s Family Support Nancy Mazonson. “This grant will allow us to expand our programs and work toward our goal of serving a more diverse community, and to form partnerships with the two NPF Centers of Excellence in Boston.”
In addition to the Parkinson’s Family Support, the NPF also awarded the Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Boston, a program created by the Mark Morris Dance Group that provides dance and drumming classes for patients with Parkinson’s disease. The classes are offered by experienced dance and drumming instructors and an occupational therapist with extensive knowledge on the disease.
The Moving Day initiative was established in 2011 and with walks organized in 22 cities across the country, the NPF was already able to raise about $8 million. Besides the walks, the foundation also organizes other campaigns and programs, including a recently launched telemedicine project, that facilitates meetings between patients and a Parkinson’s expert through Internet video calls over the course of one year.