Founded in 1999, The Parkinson Alliance is a national nonprofit organization, created in partnership with The Tuchman Foundation (see below). It was formed to foster philanthropic activities to raise funds for the most promising Parkinson’s disease research that will help find the cure. Together with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, we have funded over $30 million in research since our founding.
Prior to the founding of the Alliance, Margaret Tuchman, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 38, and her entrepreneur husband, Martin (Marty), had long been deeply involved in the community. They were among several key grassroots advocates from around the country who worked tirelessly to help pass the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Research Act of 1997, that authorized increased funding for Parkinson’s research and created the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence at the NIH.
Yet the slow pace of the legislative process to release these funds was frustrating, and it motivated Martin to apply fundamental business practices to accelerate the flow of dollars into the hands of researchers. Marty and Margaret both believed that they could play a role in awarding promising researchers the “seed” funds necessary to compete effectively for larger National Institutes of Health grants.
Because of its strong business orientation, The Parkinson Alliance was soon asked to assume responsibility for the Unity Walk, the largest single-day community fundraising event which takes place each spring in New York City’s Central Park. The Alliance has also assumed responsibility for Team Parkinson, a well-known fundraising organization on the West Coast led by John and Edna Ball as an official charity of the Los Angeles Marathon.
Today, The Parkinson Alliance stands as an umbrella organization for the Unity Walk, Team Parkinson and other fundraising events held around the country. Taken together, we have funded over $30 million in research since our founding.
In addition to funding promising research, The Parkinson Alliance is also devoted to improving the quality of life in the PD community through informational means. In the early 2000s, as a way of keeping the PD community connected and informed, Margaret Tuchman founded DBS4PD.org to fill the gap in knowledge about the newly developed Deep Brain Stimulation therapy for PD. This highly successful web-based neighborhood was designed to conduct patient surveys that obtain the “patient’s perspective” and gives a voice to the individuals with PD, along with providing scientific articles.
With DBS now considered standard treatment for the right candidates, this information is now included in The Parkinson Alliance’s overall website, reflecting its commitment to patient-centered outcomes research. We strongly believe that the perspective of those affected by Parkinson’s is essential to improving quality of life. As a result, we conduct patient-focused research through survey instruments on issues fundamental to quality of life: such as sleep, falls and speech. In addition, the Alliance periodically holds consensus conferences, that convene experts in the field to discuss optimal therapies or approaches to therapeutic issues.
About The Tuchman Foundation
The Tuchman Foundation was created in 1995 by Martin Tuchman, a successful entrepreneur, with a long history of philanthropy in education, and community endeavors, as well as the longstanding support of The Parkinson Alliance.
The Foundation supports scholarships at Seton Hall University, Trenton Catholic Academy, and an endowed chair at The New Jersey Institute of Technology, resulting in the naming of the Tuchman School of Management at NJIT. Other numerous philanthropic endeavors also include the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and major support for the YingHua International School in Kingston, NJ, to advance bilingual (Chinese and English) education.
Among his many public positions, Mr. Tuchman served on the United Nations Business Council, and the Board of Trustees and Board of Overseers of NJIT.
He is also on the Boards of the American Cancer Society of Mercer County and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. In addition, Tuchman serves as Advisor on National Security to Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney of the 14th Congressional District.
He has received numerous honors including Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, the Hero medal at The Smithsonian Institute, and the naming of The Martin Tuchman School of Management at NJIT.