Parkinson's CHAMP

Team: Ping Pong Parkinson’s Pleasantville (4P)

Location: Pleasantville, New York

Walking since: 2012

Money raised: $92,658.00

Why I/We Walk:
I walk because I want to raise money to find a cure and make life easier for people with Parkinson’s. I also walk because community support is instrumental in getting through this disease and the difficult times that come with it. As people say, it takes a village. The shared spirit, not only for people with Parkinson’s, but also for our friends, family, and caregivers, is such a wonderful experience, it makes me feel less alone in this fight against Parkinson’s.

This year’s Walk will be my 10th year participating! My team has had a few names in the past, including Margie's Movement and 3P (PingPongParkinson). My first year at the Walk was somewhat overwhelming; it was an emotional experience for me, sharing in the day with my family, and seeing so many other families supporting each other. What I love about the Walk is that people are just people, whether or not you have Parkinson’s, the Walk crowd is normalizing.

Fun Facts About Us:
Most team members are friends and family, or fellow members of the Ping Pong Parkinson’s community. Ping Pong Parkinson’s has become a huge part of my life over the last few years. Since it was founded in 2019, it has been amazing to see how much the program has expanded, especially in Europe. I won the inaugural 2019 Ping Pong Parkinson’s World Championship and in 2021 I came in second place at the second World Championship! The third World Championship will be in Croatia in October of this year. I'm gearing up for the tournament by playing with a new doubles partner to add a different element to the experience.

Keys to Success:
I am a people person, and that helps with my fundraising efforts. I tend to maintain connections for many years. I tap into friends and connections from all aspects and times of my life. Old tennis friends, my school connections, co-workers, people from all parts and various stages of my life support me. Most of the donations I receive aren’t major gifts. My approach and the support I receive is truly grassroots, dozens and dozens of affordable donations do go a long way!

What I/We Love About the Unity Walk:
Margot Zobel Way is a great resource and I look forward to it at each Walk. That kind of access to education and resources is hard to find. Even treatments and therapies that I might not need now, it is always good to know what is out there and options I might have in the future. Parkinson’s is ever evolving and knowing there is help out there for later stages and symptoms I am not currently experiencing helps to reduce my anxiety and gives me time to digest and process this disease and what I may face as my disease progresses. I call it exposure therapy, and it works.

Team Leaders:
My team is usually just me, or a small group of helpful friends and family. I’d like to extend a special thanks to my person, Dave.

Interview with Margie Alley, Team Leader, 3/2022



View all CHAMP articles.