Parkinson's Awareness Month in Full Swing!

By Elizabeth Kwasnik, Advocacy Manager

PAN advocates across the country have been raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease this month, and PAN’s advocate leaders are kicking their education efforts into high gear for Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

On Wednesday, April 10, Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Peter King (R-NY), introduced House Resolution 149 expressing support for the designation of April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  In addition, Congresswoman Maloney also made a statement of support from the House floor.  The House no longer passes honorary resolutions, so an introduced resolution and floor statement is the House's way of recognizing Parkinson's Awareness Month.  PAN’s Government Relations team is continuing to work closely with the Senate Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson's Disease on a Senate Parkinson’s Awareness Month resolution, which we expect will be considered by the Senate imminently.

Many advocate leaders wrote to their local elected officials requesting an official proclamation of April as Parkinson’s Awareness month in their city or state.  To date, more than 40 states, cities, and towns have declared April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and by month’s end, we know there will be even more!  To see photos of our advocates in action this month, "Like" our Facebook page.

In addition to the proclamations, PAN’s grassroots leaders are getting creative with their outreach.  New Hampshire State Director, John Trythall, and New Jersey Assistant State Director, Myra Hirschhorn, both held three-day fundraisers at their local Ruby Tuesday, with 20% of the net sales donated to PAN from guests who present a special PAN-themed flyer!  Michigan Assistant State Director, Hettie Molvang, has been selling tulips (a symbol of Parkinson’s disease awareness) at a local grocery store to spread the word.  In an effort to reach a larger audience, Pennsylvania Assistant State Director Ann Connor,  California Assistant State Director Aurora Soriano, Illinois State Director Roger Halleen, and Pennsylvania State Director Patti Lightner have published articles in their local newspapers describing the effect that Parkinson’s disease has had on their lives, and how they are empowering themselves through advocacy with PAN.  These are just a few examples of many different ways advocates have been reaching out through the media and to their communities to educate about Parkinson’s disease and the impact it has on their lives.

There are countless ways you can raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease in your community and spread the word about PAN’s work and the need for greater federal support of promising biomedical research that can bring us closer to a cure. 

To find out how you can get more involved with PAN, visit or call 800-850-4726.

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Date originally posted: April 24, 2013.