This longstanding walker has taught us that you can never be too young to make a difference
Since our inaugural year in 1994, the Walk is supported by walkers across multi-generations. Rohun Patel is one of our longstanding supporters and he started walking at a (very!) young age. How young? Rohun will tell you that he has, “… participated in the Unity Walk for longer than I can remember, literally!”
With his grandfather, Rohun Patel at his first Parkinson’s Unity Walk in 1997
Rohun Patel had just turned one when he attended his first Parkinson’s Unity Walk. It was the first and last Walk he would attend with his grandfather or “Dada,” who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 12 years earlier. After his first year as a walker, Rohun’s family continued to participate in the Walk while his Dada was not well enough to attend. When Rohun was in the third grade, he created Team Crunch in honor of his grandfather and named it after his Dada’s favorite candy bar: the Crunch bar. Every year since, Rohun has donated a portion of his birthday and holiday gifts to the Walk.
Rohun’s efforts did not stop there. In 2011, he decided to step it up and he began fundraising on the Unity Walk website. His younger brother and cousins joined him and that year, together they raised close to $3,000 for Parkinson’s research.
Rohun is now heading off to college and he continues to be an active fundraiser on behalf of the Unity Walk. About his participation, he describes that he is just, “… one of thousands who are there to raise funds for research to find a cure for this debilitating disease. Also like many, I am there to support a relative. In my case, it’s my grandfather or ‘Dada.’ ”
In addition to walking and fundraising, Rohun and members of Team Crunch support the Parkinson’s community in additional ways. They are also volunteers at an annual 5K and Fun Run held by The Parkinson Alliance every September in Princeton, NJ.
Want to know more about Team Crunch? Read more about Rohun’s team.