2012 Parkinson's Awareness Month

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Celebrate.  Commemorate.  Educate.

On March 29, 2012, the United States Senate officially declared April 2012 as Parkinson's Awareness Month!  The Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) is grateful to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for introducing Senate Resolution 416, and to Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mark Udall (D-CO), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) for joining as co-sponsors.  With 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.

"As a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson's Disease, I am working to support those seeking 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 Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).  “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."

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM) introduced House Resolution 642 supporting the designation of April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease co-chairs Congressman King (R-NY), Congressman Van Hollen (D-MD), and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) also joined their colleagues in recognizing the commemoration of April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

"I rise today in recognition of April as Parkinson's Awareness Month. It is essential to take this time to promote awareness, share information on the disease, and continue to work towards a cure,” said King.  Congressman King's complete statement can be found here.

"As a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson's Disease, I am proud to join my colleagues in recognizing April as Parkinson's Awareness Month. It is estimated that there are between 500,000 and 1.5 million Americans living with Parkinson's disease, a chronic, progressive neurological disease, for which there is no therapy or drug to slow or halt its progression, let alone a cure," said Van Hollen.  Congressman Van Hollen's complete statement can be found here.

"As a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson's Disease, I am pleased to recognize April as Parkinson's Awareness Month.  It is critical that we raise awareness of this debilitating disease and continue to work towards discovering treatments and eventually, a cure."  Congresswoman Maloney’s full complete statement can be found here.

People living with Parkinson’s disease know that every month, for them, is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  It’s important to use this month to reach out to friends, family members, co-workers, and people in your community to help them better understand what it’s like to live with Parkinson’s disease.  

Below are some tools you can use to help educate your local community about Parkinson’s disease, and encourage local governments to issue their own proclamations supporting our mission to find a cure.

A Month of Action: Daily Resources and Ideas for Raising Awareness of Parkinson’s Disease
PAN has created this calendar of ideas anyone can use to learn more about Parkinson’s disease, and help educate friends, family, co-workers, and others about Parkinson’s.

State and Local Government Proclamations
We encourage all Parkinson's advocates across the country to work with their state and local governments to proclaim April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Below is a letter you can customize and send to your Governor or Mayor asking them to declare April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  We’ve also included a sample proclamation you can include with your letter to provide the basic facts about Parkinson’s disease and why Parkinson’s Awareness Month is important to you.

[Template Letter]
[Sample Proclamation]

Please contact us to let us know of your successes; we will keep an updated list of state and local proclamations below.

Letter to the Editor
Take a moment to write to the editor of your local newspaper to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease, and also encourage your U.S. Senators and Representatives to support funding for Parkinson’s research.

[Sample Letter to the Editor]

Reach out to Local Media
Working with your local media is a great way to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, and the need for federal funding of biomedical research.

  • Email your local TV stations to let them know April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
  • Offer yourself as a local resource if they have any questions about Parkinson’s disease.
  • Invite a reporter or camera crew to spend a few hours with you to see what living with Parkinson’s is really like.
  • Encourage a local reporter to attend and cover a local support group meeting or other activity, so they can meet others in the community.

Social Media
Using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and your personal blog is a great way to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease year-round, not just in April.

  • Tweet or post to your Facebook page relevant news stories about Parkinson’s research and community resources.
  • Encourage your friends and followers to learn more about PD and the work PAN and other organizations do.
  • Change your Facebook profile photo or Twitter photo to the PD tulip for the month of April.
  • Let us know how YOU are using social media to promote Parkinson’s Awareness Month – we’d like to hear your ideas!

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We look forward to hearing from you about the ways you celebrate, commemorate, and educate about Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Let us know how we can help you spread the word!

2012 State and local proclamations:

State of Alabama
City of Ann Arbor, MI
State of Arizona
City of Asheville, NC
City of Bloomington, IL
City of Bloomington, IN
Burlington County, NJ
City of Carefree, AZ
City of Chubbuck, ID
Collier County, FL
City of Dunedin, FL

City of East Peoria, IL
State of Florida
City of Fountain Hills, AZ
City of Harahan, LA
City of Hilton Head, SC
State of Idaho

State of Illinois
Jefferson Parish, LA
City of Kenner, LA
State of Louisiana
State of Maryland
City of Meridian, ID

City of Midland, TX
City of Myrtle Beach, SC
City of Naples, FL
State of New Jersey
City of Normal, IL
City of Pekin, IL
City of Peoria, IL
City of Pocatello, ID
City of Poulsbo, WA
Borough of Queens
City of Scottsdale, AZ
State of South Carolina
City of Tempe, AZ
Traverse City, MI
Commonwealth of Virginia
State of Washington
City of Washington, IL
Township of Willingboro, NJ
City of Yuma, AZ