CHAMPs > CHAMP in Action

6th Annual Parkinson's Walk of East Tennessee


On a cloudless and surprisingly warm April morning, a couple of people began setting up a pavilion for the day's events.  As the day grew lighter, more and more people began setting up. One of the chairs of the organizing committee, unencumbered by the "that's the way we have always done it before" syndrome, having never even been to a Walk before, began making decisions.  She began to direct the activities and ended up with a totally different setup from the previous year.  It was April 16, 2017 and this crew of volunteers began preparations for the 6th Annual Parkinson's Walk of East Tennessee.

Pat's decisions turned out to be good ones. As the sun rose in earnest, she directed and we lifted and moved tables and chairs. The vendors began arriving and picking out tables and locations for their use. Four pharmaceutical companies along with Medtronic were represented. It was many People with Parkinson's (PwP) and their care-partners’ first time to hear directly from the people who know the most. Many other vendors were there too. In fact, we used all the twenty plus tables that were ordered.

Then chaos reared up but was quickly tamed. You see, actual walkers showed up in droves! The bluegrass band (this is Tennessee after all) began to play and after all our planning, the festivities were under way.

Our 6th annual Parkinson's Walk of East Tennessee turned out very successful with over 200 walkers making the 1.1 mile circuit.  Over $15,000 was donated to the Parkinson's Unity Walk held in New York’s Central Park. After swearing never again, Pat and Larry even volunteered to run the walk again next year.