CHAMPs > Parkinson's CHAMP

October 2012 - Team Livin' La Levodopa

Team "Livin’ La Levodopa" is so large they needed two photos!

When my husband, Kevin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000, I felt compelled to do something more in our fight against this disease.  By this time, Michael J. Fox had made his diagnosis known and I had heard him mention the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in an interview.  I thought, “Who better to work with to change the future than Marty McFly?”  After learning 100% of the money raised for the Unity Walk goes directly to research, I knew this was the “something more” I could do.

We started participating in the Walk in 2002 with three on our team.  A lover of music and being the funny guy that he is, my husband dubbed us team “Livin’ La Levodopa.”  Now, with friends, relatives and members of our Parkinson’s support group, there have been as many as 90 people walking with us!

The Parkinson’s Unity Walk has become a great tradition for our family and friends.
We gather in beautiful Central Park from MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA and as far away as WA.  After the Walk, we regroup at a local Irish pub to unwind and visit.  This year some of us made a weekend of it and took in a Broadway show.  We like to have a good time!

Though we are among thousands at the Walk, we never feel lost in the crowd. There is nothing more inspiring than being surrounded by so many people all sharing in a common goal…raising awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research.

We have raised contributions through the generosity of family and friends.  Additionally, when we turned 50, just three days apart, we celebrated by throwing ourselves a party and made it a Unity Walk fundraiser.  We had a basket raffle, door prizes and a 50/50.

This year we are planning another fundraiser/party at the bowling alley where we had our first date 40 years ago!  Since 2002, I am proud to say team “Livin’ La Levodopa” has raised a total of $100,000!

When we started this 11 years ago, we could never have imagined the level of success team “Livin’ La Levodopa” would experience. The ripple effect has been overwhelming!  To have the love and support of OUR family and friends is a blessing, but to have the support of THEIR friends and THEIR families and coworkers has been amazing!  

Our thanks go out to our team members and supporters, the organizers of the Unity Walk, the volunteers and the sponsors.  We look forward to this day every year!  The Parkinson’s Unity Walk has truly been a blessing in so many ways!

Susan Murray
Team Captain, Team “Livin’ La Levodopa”


My husband, Mark was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1997 when he was 47 years old. Five years later, he was one of the first patients in Philadelphia to have DBS surgery…which absolutely gave him back a big chunk of his life.
For all the cruel, sad things that this disease has brought into our lives (and there have been many), it has also brought strength, love and laughter into our lives as well.

The strength….from participating in support groups for patients and their families…for joining together with others in the Unity Walk…from educating friends, loved ones and strangers to the ups and (many) downs of the disease.

The love…from family members who have “stepped up” to help when needed, and who back off when not…from neighbors and friends who “do” without asking…from new friends who have become dear friends (and who we walk with at the Unity Walk in New York’s Central Park every year for the past 6 or 7 years).

The laughter…keeping it real…putting it all in perspective…laughing at ourselves and with others…living each day, each month, each year knowing we are that much closer to finding a cure…and having the last, best laugh of all!

Bobbi Helms
Team member, Team “Livin’ La Levodopa”

I have been diagnosed with Parkinson's for seven years. Though I would prefer not having Parkinson’s disease (PD), I wouldn't give up the friendships my wife and I have made through my journey with Parkinson's for a clean bill of health. Every year I am humbled by the support of friends, family and coworkers at the Unity Walk. The support is unbelievable. Our group "Livin' La Levadopa" has become like a family. I love all of you. We will continue to fight for a cure. If it doesn't happen in my lifetime, I pray that our children will know Parkinson's as a disease of the past. See you at the 2013 Unity Walk!

Doug Nemeth
Team member, Team "Livin’ La Levodopa"