Advocate Stories

The following is a collection of stories and interviews with PAN advocates from around the country.

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Learn more about becoming an advocate.


 
Lisa Ikeda Bain

Idaho State Director

Lisa's experience as a caregiver for her father who has Parkinson's disease led her to become a committed PAN advocate. Now in addition to speaking at support groups and reaching out to her Members of Congress, she also fundraises on behalf of PAN. Read more.

Kimerly Coshow
North Florida State Director

Despite a Parkinson’s diagnosis at a young age, Kimerly (Kim) Coshow has managed to keep a very positive attitude. “Life is a comedy routine, you can either choose to participate in the comedy or not,” she said. Read more.

Sue Dubman
Massachusetts Assistant State Director

Sue Dubman has had a long career in science so when she received a Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2009, she said it was a shock to see her life’s work from another perspective. “I was in denial for at least a few years and pretty much hid it from everyone else,” Sue said. “But it comes a point where you can’t hide it anymore.” Read more.

Michael Greenbaum
Arizona State Director

“If you don’t do your best to get your government to help you, you haven’t spoken up,” says Michael Greenbaum, a PAN advocate for two years. As the recently named Arizona State Director, Michael believes strongly that he has to get more people engaged in the advocacy process in order to make progress toward better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Read more.

Roger Halleen
Illinois State Director

Roger has been working with PAN since 2008 when his wife, Barbara, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Since volunteering with PAN, he has developed a strong relationship with his Representative, Aaron Schock (R-IL), and is active in the fight for strong federal policy and support for Parkinson’s research funding and other programs. Read more.

David Higgins
California Assistant State Director

David Higgins’ personal and professional experiences drove him to start advocating for the Parkinson’s community nationally, but he says the Parkinson’s Action Network’s resources and training has helped him and others in California increase their visibility on state policy issues as well. Read more.

Myra Hirschhorn
New Jersey State Director

Since Myra Hirschhorn first heard about PAN 10 years ago, she has become a fierce advocate and leader for people with Parkinson’s disease in her local community and the state of New Jersey. Read more.

Robin Katsaros
California Assistant State Director

Robin lives and works in Silicon Valley and is a loyal, dedicated advocate for Parkinson’s research funding and policy support. Her husband of 28 years, John, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in July 2008, and Robin has since devoted herself to fighting for better treatments and a cure. Read more.

Sarah King
Southern California State Director

Sarah shares what it’s like to rebuild your advocacy network when you move to a new city, how her mother’s living with Parkinson’s inspired her to become active with PAN, and how she looks forward to supporting the Parkinson’s community in her new city. Read more.

Michelle Lane
Louisiana State Director

Michelle has become an excellent fundraiser since she started working with PAN shortly after her diagnosis. Her local fundraising event, Louisiana Walks for Parkinson’s, has become a tradition in New Orleans since it was started in 2003. Read more.

Kevin Mansfield
Oregon Assistant State Director

In 2001, Kevin Mansfield was told he had Parkinson’s disease and his life immediately changed. After years of having a physically demanding job, Kevin said he was worried about the prospect of not being employed due to his new diagnosis. Read more.

Bruce McEvoy
Florida Assistant State Director

Having experience with public policy made working with PAN a natural fit for Bruce McEvoy. After his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis in 2010, he said he reached out to PAN staff directly when he was in Washington, DC for other business and was impressed with what he found. Read more.

Adrienne O'Neill
South Carolina State Director

Adrienne is a powerful force in her state’s Parkinson’s community. Not only does she advocate for strong federal policy on behalf of people with Parkinson’s, she works with her local area hospital to educate everyone from the CEO to the nurses and doctors about Parkinson’s disease, and the care it requires. Read more.

Israel Robledo
Texas State Director

It takes big leadership and big ideas to manage PAN’s outreach and advocacy in the Lone Star state, and Israel Robledo is proving he and his advocacy leadership team are right for the job. Read more.