Parkinsonís Disease Community Steps Up for 13th Annual Unity Walk to Instill Hope for the Future

Passion and spirit shine through at largest annual grassroots fundraiser

NEW YORK, April 26, 2007– On Saturday, April 28th the Parkinson’s disease community will unite in New York’s Central Park for the 13th annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk to recognize past and future progress, and encourage and celebrate the passion and spirit of the more than one million Americans1 who fight this disease everyday. More than 10,000 people, including those with Parkinson’s disease, caregivers, families and friends, are expected to participate in this two-mile walk and community education day in the ongoing fight for a cure.

"Each year, we are continually impressed by the growing number of people living with the disease, and their families and friends who lend their time and efforts to help generate funds for research, but perhaps more importantly to spread hope and motivation. The commitment and passion of the Parkinson's community is truly inspirational,” commented Martin Tuchman, chairman of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.

As part of its commitment to providing patients and their loved ones with access to valuable information that will aid in managing the disease, premier sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., will unveil a new online education resource, www.parkinsonsliving.com at the walk. This comprehensive website aims to help clarify the diagnosis and treatment process, and provide patients and their loved ones with the support that they need in their fight against Parkinson’s disease. It includes information on treatment, local support services, how to live well with the disease, patient tools, as well as information and resources for caregivers.

“It is our honor to once again be the premier sponsor of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, especially as we mark 10 years of commitment to patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. We take pride in our involvement with the Parkinson’s community and continue to build upon our heritage with new resources that can help support this inspirational group of individuals in their daily victories against Parkinson’s disease,” emphasized Paul Fonteyne, executive vice president at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

At this year’s walk, attendees will also be able to learn about new therapies and clinical trials, speak to a neurologist, and find information on local support groups. The walk is also expected to draw impromptu attendance by celebrity supporters. Participants interested in lending their support for the walk can register online and make donations at www.unitywalk.org or by mailing a completed registration form to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk at 633 Third Avenue, 27th FL, New York, NY, 10017. To receive more information on Parkinson’s disease and the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, please visit www.unitywalk.org or call 1-866-PUW-WALK (789-9255).

About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common chronic neurological disorder in older adults after Alzheimer’s, affecting approximately one percent of people over age 60. Approximately 15 percent of patients develop Parkinson’s disease before the age of 50. Every nine minutes someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.1 Symptoms include tremor, muscle rigidity, slowed motion, shuffling gait and a loss of facial expression. The symptoms vary from patient to patient, but become more severe over time.

About Parkinson’s Unity Walk
Founded in 1994 by Margot Zobel, the Parkinson’s Unity Walk is an annual event where the entire Parkinson’s community gathers with the goal of not only raising awareness of the condition, but of raising donations for research. The Parkinson’s Unity Walk has made a significant impact on the Parkinson’s disease community since its inception, raising more than $6 million for Parkinson’s research by uniting the community under a common goal of winning the war against Parkinson’s disease. Support for the walk has grown considerably each year - from 200 participants at the first walk in 1994, to more than 10,000 last year. The event unites the strength and spirit of the seven major Parkinson’s disease organizations: American Parkinson Disease Association, National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson's Action Network, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, The Parkinson Alliance and the Parkinson's Institute. With 100 percent of donations given to research, the Walk provides the public with an opportunity to help the Parkinson’s community and change the lives of the millions of people suffering from the disease.

CONTACT:
Trina Stokes
Parkinson’s Unity Walk
(866) 789-9255
tstokes@unitywalk.org
or
Anne Marie Kearns
Ketchum Public Relations
(646) 935-4010
annemarie.kearns@ketchum.com

1 “What is Parkinson’s Disease?” Parkinson’s Action Network About Parkinson’s http://www.parkinsonsaction.org/content/view/11/33/ [Last accessed 11/20/06]

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