CHAMPs > Parkinson's CHAMP

December 2012 - Team "Boot Scoot & Boogie"

My husband, Pierre was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in May of 2011. Both Pierre and I had noticed changes in his behavior and demeanor over some months but chalked it up to his transition into retirement. In April however, while visiting our three children (Eric, Leigh and Sophie), they too noticed that Daddy was not himself. After comparing their notes, they did some on-line research and thought that Pierre may be showing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. They actually did an “intervention”.

Our daughter, Leigh called to say that the three of them agreed that Pierre needed to see a doctor immediately. We saw our internist within days. He recommended an evaluation by a Movement Disorder specialist at Duke University near our home in Durham, NC, who confirmed our children’s suspicions that Pierre has PD.  

We dove into researching this disease and all became very knowledgeable of the value of exercise in combination with a regimen of medication. Pierre took the “bull by the horns” and joined a Parkinson’s Support Group, attended classes, signed up for a pharmaceutical trial and read and shared everything he could find on this disease that had invaded his body. Later in the year, Sophie, who lives in NYC, remembered that she had supported the Unity Walk for a work colleague whose Dad also had Parkinson’s (Team Papa’s Rockin’ NJ Walkers) and suggested that we too could form a team of our own and walk in Central Park with this amazing, supportive group.

Our Team Captain, Sophie, set up Team Boot Scoot & Boogie, and what began as a “family” initiative soon grew to include not only family, but extended family and friends. We set a financial goal for the team and exceeded it by so much more than we could have imagined. The Unity Walk took place on Pierre’s 62nd birthday and we were overwhelmed by everyone who joined us. We numbered 28 including our 5 grandchildren, ages 5 years - 4 months! It was a perfect day, the atmosphere was electric; a joyful day filled with optimism for a cure. We were honored to have raised over $29,000 and become the Rookie Team of the year. We are so proud to be a part of this initiative especially knowing that 100% of the proceeds go to fund Parkinson’s research. We are so fortunate to have the love and support of our amazing children, grandchildren, extended family and dear friends. Pierre could not have asked for a more perfect birthday present. Team Boot Scoot & Boogie looks forward to leading the 2013 Walk and hopes to top our 2012 fundraising efforts.

Jocelyne Gervais

Team member, Team Boot Scoot & Boogie