Celebrate Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and in this month alone the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates that 5,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

To combat the rising numbers of diagnoses, The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation has launched its 2012 “Make a Difference in the Fight Against Parkinson’s” toolkit and campaign. The campaign will raise awareness of the disease, educate and advocate for individuals living with Parkinson’s and promote research.

"Awareness of Parkinson's leads to compassion, compassion leads to giving, giving leads to research, and research will lead to a cure," said Pam Quinn, a Parkinson’s Disease Foundation volunteer who has Parkinson’s.

As part of the campaign, the organization has developed a toolkit, available in both print and online, with tips to raise awareness of Parkinson’s. Here are a few tips from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation:

  • Participate in one of the organizations “Pair up for Parkinson’s Research” forums nationwide on Tuesday, April 17. (Physical therapists are invited to a special forum on evaluation and treatment on Friday, April 20 online or in New York, N.Y.)
  • Reach out to your local library. For example, the East Baton Rouge Parish Library System in Louisiana has partnered with the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation to display free posters and educational materials at the main library and its 12 branches.
  • Grab a free downloadable banner from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Web site and spread the word via social media.
  • Get and wear the t-shirt on optimism and hope, designed by Diane Malstrom of Twain Harte, Calif.
  • Make a donation to the Irving G. Brilliant Research Challenge, in which Brilliant, who has Parkinson’s, will match each donation up to $100,000 during April.

  • Purchase a paper tulip for $1 at Gristedes supermarkets in New York to raise awareness.
  • Get more information here.

    In addition, don’t miss the new book “Take Charge of Parkinson's Disease: Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put You in the Driver's Seat" by Eduard Alden "Mike" Mikkelsen, which offers guidance on symptom management through nutrition, exercise and coping strategies.