April is Parkinson's Awareness Month!

On March 31, 2011, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced a resolution in the Senate that designates April as the national Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  This action signifies the importance of Parkinson’s disease, and recognizes Congress’ commitment to finding better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.  The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) expects that the resolution will be passed soon by the full Senate.
"As a co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Parkinson’s disease, I am working to find better treatments for this devastating neurological disease.  That is why I am proud to introduce legislation recognizing April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month," said Senator Stabenow.  "We know so little about neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s but we all know someone who has been impacted by them.  With this resolution, we honor those who live with Parkinson’s and encourage those conducting the medical research that could hold the key to new breakthrough treatments."
PAN is grateful to Senator Stabenow for introducing the resolution, and to Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Mike Johanns (R-NE) for joining as cosponsors.  Through their support, and that of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson's Disease, our community will continue to raise awareness of Parkinson's disease both in April and throughout the year.

PAN joins with our Senate champions and the entire Parkinson’s community in recognizing April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Our community has long commemorated Parkinson's Awareness Month in April, with the goal of raising awareness about the disease.
"You can't go up to more than a handful of people on the street before finding someone with a mother, father, brother, sister, or close friend who's been touched by Parkinson's," said Senator Udall.  "This makes our task of increasing awareness of this horrible disease that much more important - there is a continuing need for more robust biomedical research, better treatments, and more community involvement to fight Parkinson's.  That's why I am proud to introduce this resolution with my Senate colleagues." 
There are many ways that you can take action in your local community to increase the impact of Parkinson's Awareness Month.  PAN has created an online toolkit on our website, where you will find sample proclamations for local and state governments.  There is a letter to the editor that you can personalize and use in your local newspaper to spread the word about Parkinson's Awareness Month.  We have also provided social media tools to reach out to online networks about the importance of raising awareness and education.
In honor of this special occasion, PAN is also excited to present our annual online Tulip Tribute Garden, where you can celebrate, honor, and remember your family and loved ones who have been touched by Parkinson’s disease.  Plant a virtual tulip on our website for Parkinson’s Awareness Month, for a birthday, anniversary, Mother's Day, or Father's Day, or just to let your loved one know how much you care!  For all supporters who give a gift of $25 or more, we will post the name of someone you would like to honor on the PAN website, including a brief dedication or message.

We hope you will take this April as an opportunity to reach out to your local communities.  PAN will list online all the proclamations from local and state governments.  Please be sure to keep us posted of your successes!  Take action now to have Parkinson’s Awareness Month recognized in your community!