I am participating in the Moving Day Atlanta walk, benefiting the National Parkinson Foundation on Saturday, November 1st, 2014, and I hope you will help me support this amazing organization that has made such a great difference in my life. Please take a moment to read my personal blog below to learn how the NPF has helped me, my wife Ellie, and several other dedicated volunteers launch the PD Gladiators Metro Atlanta Fitness Network, a nonprofit affiliation of independent fitness instructors, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, physical therapists and other support providers dedicated to combating Parkinson's disease with vigorous and varied exercise.
This year's Moving Day Walk will take place at the Centennial Olympic Park (Downtown Atlanta) and will be a fun-filled, family-friendly event for all ages and abilities. We will be able to enjoy a variety of movement activities yoga, dance, Pilates, Tai Chi, stretching and much more and celebrate the importance of movement in our lives.
Please consider being a part of my team or sponsoring me, and I encourage you to get your friends, family and coworkers involved.
Why Get Involved
The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) continues to bring help and hope to the estimated one million people in the United States, four to six million worldwide, who are living with Parkinson’s disease. NPF is the only organization with a singular focus on improving the quality of care in Parkinson’s disease. NPF programs reach more than one million people a year through its network of 39 chapters, 43 Centers of Excellence and 900 support groups. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $180 million in care, research and support services.
Thank you for helping me reach my fundraising goal to support the vital work of the National Parkinson Foundation.
My Personal Web Log
Moving Day Grants Awarded to PD Gladiators
The 2013 Moving Day Walk was the NPF's first in Atlanta. I participated in the Walk with my family and Paul Delgado, a retired professional boxer who Ellie and I had been talking to about organizing a boxing training class for people with PD and their care partners similar to Punching Out Parkinson's in Fort Worth. With the entire PD community gathered in one place, it was the perfect opportunity to introduce Paul and our idea to community leaders. Those meetings led to grants of seed money from the NPF and the APDA to start the PD Gladiators Boxing Training for PD program, which started in early January and quickly attracted a dedicated following.
But Ellie and I were struck by the low participation rates by people with Parkinson's in the several group exercise programs available in the metro area given the latest scientific literature which suggests vigorous and varied exercise helps people with PD live better with their disease and may even have a disease-modifying effect. Out of 13,000 people with PD in the Atlanta metro area, we figured less than 100 were regularly participating in the ten classes we identified.
So we organized PD Gladiators, Inc. as a nonprofit and invited several dedicated people to join our Board of Directors, and together we developed a plan to help people with PD in the Atlanta metro area design effective, fun and sustainable exercise routines. We hoped to subsidize group exercise classes adapted for people with PD throughout the metro area, organize the instructors into a branded network backed by the PD community, and promote it to practicing neurologists along with the neuroscience that supports exercise as a primary therapy for PD.
We had trouble generating the fundraising momentum necessary to organize a network with sufficient heft and credibility to achieve our goals until the NPF announced this Spring that it was awarding $50,000 in Moving Day grants to community organizations serving metro Atlanta. To make a long story short, PD Gladiators was awarded $15,000 under this program (and Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation, Paul Delgado's nonprofit that runs the Boxing Training for PD program was awarded an additional $5,000). These grants--and the implicit backing of our strategic plan by the NPF--proved the catalyst that enabled us to gain the backing of the other major PD organizations active in metro Atlanta and form a community partnership with the YMCA of Metro Atlanta.
Thanks to the NPF and Moving Day, the PD Gladiators Metro Atlanta Fitness Network, including the PD Gladiators at the Y program, recently launched. We already have 16 classes on our schedule and are in the process of expanding and have hopes of convincing area neurologists to refer people with PD to our programs upon diagnosis, when exercise as a therapy is most effective in slowing disease progression.
Please help us show our appreciation by supporting me and the PD Gladiators team in this year's Moving Day Walk Atlanta. Your contributions will help people with Parkinson's live better with their disease through the NPF's support of local programs like PD Gladiators and the other fantastic programs funded by the Moving Day grants.
Thank you for caring!
by Larry Kahn on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 @ 11:08 AM