Thousands to come together on April 27 to unite walkers and leading organizations to raise awareness and funds for research

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Make Every Step Count at 19th Annual Parkinson's Unity Walk in New York


KINGSTON, N.J., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To help find the cause of and a cure for Parkinson's disease, The Parkinson Alliance is encouraging all Americans to register for the 19th annual Parkinson's Unity Walk, which will take place on Saturday, April 27, in New York City's Central Park.  The Walk is the largest grassroots event for Parkinson's disease research in the in the United States; in 2012, more than 10,000 people – representing walkers and donors from all 50 states and U.S. territories and 23 countries – participated in the Walk, raising more than $1.8 million to help fund ground-breaking research on better treatments, and hopefully one day a cure for Parkinson's disease.

"Currently, we have over one million people who are living with Parkinson's disease, and millions more impacted by the disease," stated Martin Tuchman, Chairman of The Parkinson Alliance.  "Every nine minutes someone is newly diagnosed but, as of today, there is no cure.  While there have been advancements in research and therapies to improve symptoms, we need to keep fighting, together.  The Parkinson's Unity Walk is an excellent opportunity to unite with fellow advocates, families, friends, caregivers, sponsors, research organizations and leading Parkinson's foundations to truly make a difference."

The Parkinson's Unity Walk is more than a just a walk.  It provides an opportunity for thousands of participants to learn more about Parkinson's disease and its management as they spend time at the booths of leading Parkinson's organizations and walk alongside people living with or impacted by this disease.  Walkers will also join in a kick-off ceremony to honor those affected by Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over age 60.  It is estimated that more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson's disease, and 60,000 new cases – one every nine minutes – are diagnosed each year.  Recent research indicates that there are more than five million people worldwide living with Parkinson's disease.  The cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown, and while there is no cure, there are treatment options including medication and surgery, to help manage symptoms.  To help people learn more about the disease, the Walk will also feature an "Ask the Health Care Experts" booth staffed by a movement disorders specialist and other healthcare professionals that typically make up the multidisciplinary team involved in the care of patients with Parkinson's disease.

The Parkinson's Unity Walk has also launched a "Walk for More Than Just a Cure" video campaign, stressing that the Walk is an event of community and education.  "If you're living with Parkinson's disease, it's so important to surround yourself with support groups and educate yourself," said May May Ali, social activist, daughter of Muhammad Ali and Walk participant.  "With wisdom there is power and empowerment.  You will improve the quality of your life.  Join me at the Parkinson's Unity Walk and be proactive in this fight."

Participants will also have the opportunity to visit sponsors' booths.  Visitors to the booth of Premier Sponsor and Proud Partner, AbbVie, can have their pictures taken at the Messages of Hope™ Wall and write messages of encouragement for the Parkinson's disease community.  AbbVie, a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company, will donate $15 to Parkinson's disease research for every photo and message collected.  

Additional 2013 Walk sponsors include Teva CNS, UCB, Chelsea Therapeutics, LSVT Global, Medtronic, Novartis and US WorldMeds.  The generosity of each sponsor allows the Parkinson's Unity Walk to donate one hundred percent of all donations to research.  Since the Walk's inception, all donations are shared among:  American Parkinson Disease Association, National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson's Action Network, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, The Parkinson Alliance and The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center.

Courtesy of the Wilkins Parkinson's Foundation, the Walk hopes to increase awareness via "Make Every Step Count" ads that are scheduled to appear in New York City taxis, phone kiosks, bus shelters and subways throughout the month of April.

Make every step count.  Register to start a team and donate at www.unitywalk.org.  Visit the Parkinson's Unity Walk on Facebook and Twitter for more information and to interact with other participants leading up to the Walk.  Participants can also stay connected and help spread the word before and during the Walk using the 2013 Walk hash tag #puw2013 on Twitter and Instagram.

About The Parkinson Alliance
The Parkinson Alliance® is a national non-profit organization, dedicated to raising funds to help finance the most promising research to find the cause and cure for Parkinson's disease; and is the umbrella organization for the Parkinson's Unity Walk®.  Since its inception in 1994, one hundred percent of donations to the Parkinson's Unity Walk have gone to research and more than $12 million in research grants have been awarded.  Additional information, including registration materials, is available at www.unitywalk.org or by calling 866-789-9255 (866-PUW-WALK).  


CONTACT:
Helaine Isaacs
Event Director
Parkinson's Unity Walk
866-789-9255
info@unitywalk.org

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