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Archive for the ‘Raise awareness’ Category

Daughter Writes Editorial About Her Dad

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Using the media to spread the word about Parkinson’s disease 

Like so many of our teams, Team DominACHIN over PD plans fundraisers year round while also using unique ways to make a difference by simply raising disease awareness. Each April, the Editor of the Sun Chronicle in Massachusetts asks Mike Achin, Team Captain of Team DominACHIN over PD to write an editorial for the paper to help raise Parkinson’s awareness. This past April, Mike’s daughter, Danielle Achin prepared the editorial about the cause her family is committed to.

In reflecting on her father’s experience with Parkinson’s disease, Danielle wrote about how, “ … strong, tough, resilient and determined my Dad is. At the beginning I thought my superhero was going to be taken from me, and in a way he’s just proving more and more that he is one.” In her article, Danielle also wrote about the support they’ve received from family and friends.

Danielle’s full editorial entitled “My Dad, the superhero” can be found here.

Has your team reached out to your local press about your efforts to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research?  Comment below and let us know your experience …

Walking Since One Year Old

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

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.

Team Crunch

Team Crunch

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.

Cause Awareness is Just as Important as Fundraising

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Many of our teams work just as hard and are as clever to raise awareness, as they do fundraising.

Many of our teams are also involved in multiple causes and are always thinking outside the box all year round — including Team Dan Rocks!

Meg Kelleher’s father Dan, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 12 years ago. She has been participating in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk for the past four years as Team Captain of Team Dan Rocks. Meg and additional Team Dan Rocks team members took part in the Color Me Rad 5K at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. While supporting another cause, they also wore their Parkinson’s Unity Walk t-shirts to draw attention to this cause that they are committed to. Good fun for two important causes!


Unity Walk Shirts AFTER the Color Me Rad 5K

What are some unique ways you’ve raised Parkinson’s disease awareness?

Raising Awareness – One Billboard at a Time

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Our phones have been ringing off the hook! We always ask people how they learned about the Unity Walk and more and more, the answers are “I saw a sign about it on the subway” or “I just saw the Public Service Announcement.” Courtesy of Wilkins Parkinson’s Foundation, the Unity Walk has billboards on NYC buses, subway platforms and digital panels at subway entrances as well as billboards in shopping centers in NY suburbs.


PUW billboard on bus and PUW billboards at shopping center!

We are grateful for all this support to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, the Unity Walk and hopefully, more funds for research. Look forward to walking together on Saturday!

Helaine Isaacs
PUW Event Director

Today Show 4.25.14 – Be There!!

Monday, April 21st, 2014

What are you doing early in the morning on Friday, April 25th? I know where I’ll be – on the plaza at the Today Show – and I hope you’ll join me and other participants from the Unity Walk.

We will be meeting in a new location this year! You creatures of habit – pay attention! We have a new connection at the Today Show so we don’t need to wait on line to enter the plaza of the Today Show. Instead, we will gather between 5:30-6:00am in front of the main entrance to 30 Rockefeller Plaza. That’s the building that the Christmas tree is in front of in the winter. Rockefeller Plaza runs between 49th and 50th Streets and is parallel to and in between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. We will be escorted onto the plaza at 6:00am and placed in a location that will give us the most visibility during the Today Show. If you need me to reach me that morning, call me on my cell 609-651-9155.

Today Show 30-rock2-MeetHere

I used to arrive early when it’s still dark and hold a place on line for our group. I’m often the first person on line and I’ve met some incredible people while standing on line at that hour. Last year, there was a group of high school students from West Virginia who were visiting NY for the first time. They were completely ripped off by their NY cab driver, who charged each person the fare on the meter but that didn’t faze them. When they found out about the Walk, several of the students spontaneously gave me cash donations. The year before there was the 80 year old woman who drove in with her daughters from PA to celebrate her 80th birthday with the hope of being chosen for a makeover. I am convinced that it was the support from the Unity Walk crowd that got her selected and she looked amazing!

All those wonderful folks pale in comparison to the folks who show up in support of the Unity Walk. There are often several regulars – Team Cantore, Daddy and his Dopamines and the DominACHINs are in that group – but I always get to meet some new walkers and teams that I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise and that’s what I enjoy most about the day.

photo from Helaine

We hope for our one minute of glory when Al Roker or one of his colleagues come out to the plaza, our signs held high and t-shirts worn proudly. We’ve been lucky the past several years and Al’s come over to speak to us. We hope you can join us in person. If you’re watching from home, use our hashtag #puw2014 and let us know you’re with us in spirit.

Helaine Isaacs
PUW Event Director



Credit Melanie Ahron IMG-20130426-00844 photo from Helaine 3