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Walking Since One Year Old

August 2nd, 2014 by Parkinson's Unity Walk Team

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

August 1st, 2014 by Parkinson's Unity Walk Team

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?

This One is All About Our Teams

July 23rd, 2014 by Parkinson's Unity Walk Team

1aWe can’t thank our supporters enough for their tireless devotion to fundraising which is leading the way towards finding a cure — especially our teams!  This is why our recent newsletter is all about them.  Check out tips from team captains for their team’s success, our announcement of this year’s Top 50 Teams, and more!


Click here for our newsletter dedicated to our teams.

Our next edition of Stepping It Up will be about walkers who are making every step count in honor of their parents and grandparents — so don’t miss our next email update, sign up for email alerts here.


Medicare and Parkinson’s Disease

July 7th, 2014 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director

PANlogo-3tier-url-navy2014WebThe Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) is the advocacy organization for the Parkinson’s community and they continue to work to address challenges resulting from the Medicare therapy gap and the Medicare “Improvement Standard” for services such as physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy services. Effective this year, Medicare beneficiaries can no longer be denied coverage for therapy solely for lack of improvement. Many therapists may not be aware of the exception process so it is important for you to be your own best advocate and share this information with them.

Check PAN’s website for more details.

Helaine Isaacs
PUW Event Director

Top Rookie Team Pledges to Walk in 2015

June 27th, 2014 by Parkinson's Unity Walk Team

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Supporters made the 2014 Parkinson’s Unity Walk one of the most successful Unity Walks ever — together, we raised more than $1.6 million dollars for research funding.

Because the funds we raised this April may not fund the research that ends this disease, we must keep fighting, we must keep funding, we must keep walking!

Elizabeth Gold, team captain of Team Duke, this year’s Top Rookie Team — has pledged to continue walking in 2015 alongside thousands of others in the Parkinson’s community. Elizabeth walked for the first time in 2014 with her husband and four sons, in honor of her dad who lives in Cleveland, Ohio. As the Top Rookie Team of 2014, Team Duke will also have the honor of leading off the Unity Walk in 2015.

Like so many family members who are on this journey, Elizabeth describes feeling helpless in her fight against Parkinson’s disease — that was before her participation in the Walk. “Walking in the Unity Walk was exactly what I needed,” states Elizabeth. “It was the first time that I had seen joy and happiness completely overshadow Parkinson’s. Looking at all of the teams and walkers with their brightly colored t-shirts, hats and signs made me realize that my family and I are now part of a vibrant and hopeful community determined to find a cure,” added Team Duke’s team captain.

Like Elizabeth and Team Duke, so many of our supporters walk in honor or in memory of a parent. What better way to honor a loved one than taking the Pledge to Walk and participating in the 2015 Parkinson’s Unity Walk!?

Take a minute to pledge today participate in the 2015 Walk and be part of the unified effort to end Parkinson’s.

Also click here to get to know more about Team Duke and additional Top Teams of 2014.