Carol J. Walton, Chief Executive Director
When Carol’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease she was working in the corporate world and trying desperately to find information on this disease – which in the early 1980’s was a very difficult task. Carol’s dad lived in Washington State, and she lived in California. As a long distance caregiver/daughter, it was very frustrating for all involved. Her brother lived in Washington State and they shared responsibilities as best they could – Carol’s brother would check on Dad daily, pay bills (keep Medicare paperwork straight), run errands and make sure he had the proper medications. Carol attended support groups and tried to educate herself to help her dad and family learn how to cope with Parkinson’s disease. She would travel to Seattle at least every two months and tried to schedule doctor’s appointments around her trips – hoping to ask the right questions and get the right answers to help her dad live a better quality life.
In 1994 Carol attended a Parkinson’s Action Network Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC, and became an advocate for research. She spent a lot of time walking the halls of Congress—and helped to get the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Research Act passed in 1997. During that forum she met Margaret and Martin Tuchman who were also advocates. They offered Carol the opportunity to head their foundation. In 1999 the Tuchman’s moved her from California to New Jersey to start The Parkinson Alliance.