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The Difference Between WELLness and Illness is I and WE

January 13th, 2014 by Our Team

Nancy Mazonson, Director of Parkinson’s Family Support Program at Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Greater Boston shares her experience of working with people living with Parkinson’s disease on a daily basis and participating in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk.
Helaine Isaacs
Event Director

“The difference between Illness and WELLness is I and WE.”
Swami Satchidananda as quoted by Dr. Dean Ornish, TED Conference, 2006 and repeated by Bob Kuhn, Opening Ceremony, 2013 World Parkinson Congress

circle hand holdingI experience the sense of WELLness that can only come from WE – from joining with others – every single day in my role as Director of Parkinson’s Family Support at Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Boston. By offering Parkinson’s Dance, Tremble Clef choral singing, support and education groups for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), care partners and adult children as well as information and referral help, I have the privilege of making it possible for people with PD and their care partners to share and connect deeply with others. Our focus is on finding better ways to live well with PD while we wait for a cure. I know for sure that although the Parkinson’s journey can be very challenging, the power of community and the focus on the creative arts can be a healing gift. As one of our dancers said, “This is a caring community filled with camaraderie. Sharing dancing and sharing knowledge with others is good for the soul. It’s so much better than going it alone.”


Nancy Mazonson at 2013 PUW

On a sunny April day in 2013, the message of WE truly echoed through Central Park. As a first time walker in the 19th Annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk; as the daughter and niece of men who battled Parkinson’s; and as a professional in the PD world; the energy and connection of the day lifted my spirits. The huge crowd that gathered for the Walk wore everything from matching team t-shirts with a beloved grandpa’s hand print to wacky Viking regalia. Some walked confidently, while others walked haltingly and doggedly – and some rolled along with walkers, wheelchairs or strollers. It was a diverse community all focused on a shared effort to raise awareness and funds for PD research. For those few precious hours in New York, the Parkinson’s Unity Walk offered people who care about Parkinson’s the opportunity to experience the sense of WELLness that can only come from WE – from joining with others.

Please join me in April in Central Park. Hope to see you there!

Nancy Mazonson
Director of Parkinson’s Family Support
Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Greater Boston

Happy Holidays!!

December 18th, 2013 by Our Team

PUW-holiday2013_rIt’s the time of year when we take a moment to reflect on the year that’s gone by, appreciate our relationships, and express our gratitude to those who supported us throughout the year. As we at the Parkinson’s Unity Walk reflect on our year, our thoughts turn to all the walkers and donors who support the Unity Walk. We value your commitment to funding research to fight Parkinson’s disease and find inspiration in the caring and love for one another that we witness at the Walk.

We hope you get a chance to enjoy time with family and friends, and appreciate the joys of the season. Wishing you a happy holiday and all the best for 2014!

Warm regards,
Event Director

Mark Your Calendar for the 20th Parkinson’s Unity Walk – April 26, 2014!

December 2nd, 2013 by Our Team


Mark your calendars! April 26, 2014 has just been confirmed for the 20th Parkinson’s Unity Walk. The planning for the Walk began months ago, many walkers have already registered, and several fundraisers have already been held.

We know some of you have been waiting to register until the date is announced so WAIT NO MOREregister today and create your team! If you’re coming from out of town, check our website for hotel rooms at reduced rates. Log into “My HQ” and get started with your fundraising. The year-end holidays are a perfect time to reach out to your family and friends.

Please join us in making every step count at the largest grassroots Parkinson’s fundraiser in the country. Our walkers all have some personal connection to the Parkinson’s community and tell us that they experience a sense of empowerment by participating in the Walk and by raising funds for research.  If you’re new to the Parkinson’s community, please join us so you can share that experience first-hand. If you’re a returning walker, we thank you for your continued support and commitment to this cause.

Want to get a better sense of why people participate in the Unity Walk? Our Parkinson’s CHAMPs will give you a glimpse into some of those reasons.

We’ll be sharing more fundraising ideas and Walk details with you in the months to come. Have questions about fundraising or Walk details? Feel free to call our office at 866-789-9255.

Helaine Isaacs
PUW Event Director

A Thanksgiving Recipe for an Energized Unity Walk Team

November 27th, 2013 by Our Team


A Thanksgiving Recipe for an Energized Unity Walk Team
A loving family
Positive energy
Parkinson’s Unity Walk
Devoted friends
Caring colleagues
Social media

Mix first three ingredients together with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk around your holiday table this Thanksgiving and see what ideas are cooked up. We’ve heard countless stories of PUW teams and fundraisers that are created in this way. If you’re new to the Walk, what better time to come up with your team name? The fifth ingredient – humor – may inspire you! If you’re returning, use the time to come up with new fundraisers and ways to expand your team. Combine this mixture with the next three ingredients – devoted friends, caring colleagues, and social media – and see your team grow exponentially.

Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude and connection to one another. No gifts are exchanged; there are no distractions. Participating in the Unity Walk is a wonderful way to express gratitude and show support of someone in your life who is impacted by Parkinson’s disease. If you’re living with Parkinson’s disease, it’s an opportunity to express your gratitude to those who support you in so many different ways throughout the year. The Parkinson’s Unity Walk is the vehicle that brings it all together.

I am grateful for the opportunity to support such an incredible group of people. The walkers and teams I meet in my role as Event Director enrich my life and inspire me. At my family’s Thanksgiving table, we all take turns discussing what we are thankful for. Being a part of  the Unity Walk is always on my list.

The Unity Walk is grateful to all our walkers and donors – those who are new and those who support the Walk year after year; large teams and small; those who walk in honor of someone or in their memory; and those who are living with Parkinson’s disease as well as their family and friends.

We wish you a relaxing and delicious holiday enjoyed with family and friends.

With gratitude,
Helaine Isaacs
Event Director

PS – For those of you who “celebrate” Black Friday, we wish you every success with your purchases!

The Bottom Line

November 25th, 2013 by Our Team

PD Foundation logos image

We hear from our walkers all the time that there are many different aspects of the Unity Walk that they appreciate – the sense of community created in Central Park; the hope, optimism and support they feel from one another; and the educational and informational resources available at the sponsor and foundation booths. All of that is consistent with our own experience of the Walk. I am always struck by the resilience, positive energy and humor of those who attend. Getting to know our walkers and teams is one of the most satisfying aspects of my role as Event Director of the Unity Walk. You are an amazing group of individuals!

While all of the above is important, the BOTTOM LINE for many of our walkers is the knowledge that 100% of the funds raised support research. I am always mindful of that priority and focus, but never more so than when we post the research projects funded by the Unity Walk on our website. Exploring the role of alpha- synuclein in Parkinson’s disease; gene therapy to re-establish functioning by restoring axons of surviving dopamine neurons; or new delivery systems that will reduce motor fluctuations and “off-time” – these are all examples of research funded with YOUR dollars. We never know which research project is the one that will take us closer to finding a cure, so funding seven different organizations with every dollar is a good investment. And until the cure is found, we also fund research that focuses on improving the quality of life of those living with Parkinson’s disease.

Check the “Where Your Money Goes” page on our website to read through the 2013 research grants that were awarded and updates on 2011 and 2012 grants.

With thanks,
Helaine Isaacs
Event Director