Video Games Exercise Motor and Memory for Parkinson's Community Member

Meet Scott Thompson. He is a loving husband, video gamer and huge Star Trek fan. Scott and his wife Ravyn have a doxin corgi mix named Harley who they love dearly.

Scott has a deep love for Star Trek and Marvel super hero’s. When he was five he decided to follow his positive role models and chose to stay out of trouble. His love for Star Trek developed when the hit television show first aired in 1966. The fascination with visions of the future grew with time and the development of technology soon caught up with the plot of the show.

In 2009 Scott was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He first noticed symptoms when he was playing video games. His timing was off and he wasn’t able to push the buttons as quickly. Along with the delayed response, he also experienced pain and stiffness in his right arm. Once his doctor made the official diagnosis the news was tough to hear, however Scott and Ravyn remained optimistic about living life.  They later realized how medication can improve his motor skills so Scott decided to test his skills in the best way he knew how to by playing video games. Playing these games has helped challenge Scott with his hand and eye coordination.

Scott also attends the Orlando support group and has attended many of the other classes offered by Florida Hospital. He is a regular at the support group that meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month. To Scott, the support group is a family and he strives to know every member. Socialization is key to helping him manage his Parkinson’s. Staying active and developing relationships has helped him realize he can continue to do the things he loves.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Choose one or both lists

New Board Member: Leslie McClelland

Leslie McClelland_2.jpg

Welcome Leslie Mcclelland!

Leslie is the Marketing and Recruitment Director for Compass Research and has a background serving on many other non-profit boards. Leslie and her husband Andy have a daughter who is 2 ½ years old. Leslie enjoys reading, visiting museums, and going to playgrounds and splashpads all over Central Florida with her family. She first heard about the Parkinson Association through facebook and was able to learn about the support PACF provides for patients and caregivers. Leslie is most excited to help the organization meet the changing needs of families impacted by Parkinson’s disease through diverse programs and therapeutic offerings.  


BG Foundation.JPG
Top image shows PACF Board Members and a check donation for $10,000 to the National Parkinson's Foundation, bottom left image shows a check for $8,000 to the Michael J Fox Foundation and the bottom right image shows $2,000 donated to the Brian Grant Foundation.


The WALK FOR PARKINSON’s event raised an outstanding $106,000! These efforts aren’t possible without the help from the Central Florida community reaching out to friends and family members. Some of the contributions from the WALK, will be donated to three organizations, the National Parkinson Foundation, Michael J Fox Foundation, and the Brain Grant Foundation.

National Parkinson Foundation is helping people with Parkinson's live a better life today and conducting ground-breaking research for a better tomorrow. In August 2016, National Parkinson Foundation and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation merged to form a stronger organization investing  in promising scientific research towards improving the lives of people living with Parkinson’s and their families. Last year the National Parkinson Foundation spent $7,090,460 towards public education, patient care services, and research, all of which impacts the greater Parkinson’s community. The donation will be specifically for the fellowship program to help support the next generation of Movement Disorder Neurologist.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is leads in research helping to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease and has funded more than $700 million dollars to speed a cure for Parkinson’s. The Parkinson Association of Central Florida has helped donate towards research through the Michael J Fox Foundation’s Team Fox through two local community members. Through their efforts 100% of these donations go towards research and helps to raise awareness at the local level.

Earlier this April, Brian Grant was the featured speaker at the Brain and Beyond Conference where he shared his story and his mission at the Brian Grant Foundation. The Brian Grant Foundation focuses on exercise, wellness and nutrition and offers tangible resources to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. Brian continues to speak out about Parkinson’s and the affects the disease has had on his life.

Giving back to these organizations helps make a difference in improving the lives of people living with the disease today, and hope for a cure in the future. All of this is made possible by your generosity. Together we can improve the quality of life for all people impacted by Parkinson’s disease!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Choose one or both lists

New Board Member: Scott Herring

Welcome Scott Herring!

Scott is PACF’s newest board member. He is the Chief Financial Officer at Florida Citrus Sports and will serve as Treasurer on the PACF Board of Directors. Scott is married to Debbie Herring and they have three sons, Brett, Sean, and Kendall. His hobbies are playing and watching sports especially the Steelers, Penguins and the Pirates. Scott heard about the Parkinson’s Association through a close friend, and current board member, John Gabriel. John encouraged Scott to join the board and assume the position as Treasurer. Scott wants to help those living with Parkinson’s, their caregivers, and families so everyone can live life to the fullest.

Donation to the Michael J Fox Foundation

The Parkinson Association of Central Florida donates $8,000 to the Michael J Fox Foundation in support of two Central Florida community members, Rose Babcock and Tonya Walker.

Rose Babcock and her husband Chris organize the Pints for Parkinson’s event to raise money for Team Fox. The event is held at the World of Beer in Dr. Phillips and includes a variety of assorted raffle items. Tonya Walker hosts The Art of Fashion where many clothing styles are presented as well as art items created by local artists.

Both events help raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of therapies for those living with Parkinson's today.


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Choose one or both lists

Webmasters Concurring Parkinson’s Disease Together

Meet Chuck and Marsha Melvin. They are the webmasters who have created a website featuring information on how to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Both of them live, research, and constantly update the information on the website, and together work as a team helping to support each other.

In the fall of 2010, Chuck fell and seriously injured himself and needed 13 stitches on his forehead. Soon after his fall, Chuck’s primary doctor sent him for an MRI and then to a Neurologist. Meanwhile, Chuck was having troubles with talking, balancing and struggled to remember Marsha’s name. It was the visit to the Neurologist where Chuck was officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s and was prescribed medication. Quickly after the first dose of medication he saw his symptoms improve and was able to remember Marsha’s name.

Marsha and Chuck have been married for 40 years and for the past 7 years have grown closer since Chuck’s diagnosis. The couple exercises together, attends the support group, and has participated in other Parkinson’s specific programs.  For example, when Chuck attended the LSVT Big program Marsha learned everything Chuck had to learn and was able to better help him continue his exercises.

“Trying to improving your symptoms by yourself is impossible. Marsha and I have developed a way to communicate to make my Parkinson’s better,” said Chuck. Together they enjoy staying active, stretching, attending pedaling class and continue to have a positive attitude.

Chuck believes that his mind has improved because of working on their website. Researching, writing, taking pictures and posting them are all things to make the website successful. The Melvin’s encourage others with Parkinson’s to write about their progress. They believe sharing stories helps inspire future readers and empowers others to stay active.

Continue to learn about the Melvin’s and their Parkinson’s research by visiting their website

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Choose one or both lists

Pedaling For Parkinson’s Group Celebrates 5 Years!

On Saturday, June 10 the Pedaling for Parkinson’s group met to celebrate the groups 5 year anniversary. Debbie Apple helps coordinate the group at the YMCA in Winter Park every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:00-3:00pm. They have about 30 cyclers and promote the exercise as a way to help with PD symptoms by staying active in a fun and supportive group environment.

The program began when Debbie’s husband, Howie Apple was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Howie was an avid cyclist and through some research found clinical data supporting cycling as recommended exercise for those with Parkinson’s. The couple then took the Pedaling for Parkinson’s program to the YMCA and together the cycling program began.

The program starts out with a free 8-week session offered to people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers.  The 8 week timeline allows the individual to get a good sense of whether the class is a good fit or not. The class uses upbeat rock ‘n’ roll music to encourage a fast pace.Each individual is able to start out at a level they are comfortable with and gradually increase speed and distance. With a trained cycling instructor, the class is able to provide a supportive environment where each person can improve. With the common goal of fighting back against the progression of Parkinson’s disease the group sends a powerful message to keep active as a way to stay healthy.

Want to learn more or interested in joining this group? Contact Debbie Apple at 321-356-7899 or at 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Choose one or both lists



What's Shakin'?

Florida Hospital’s Parkinson’s Outreach Center has developed a program specific for children ages 9-13 who have a parent or grandparent with Parkinson’s. What’s Shakin’ is an expressive arts group for children to share and express themselves through play, art and other forms of dramatic expression.

Living with a chronic condition such as Parkinson’s has an effect on the entire family. Often children have worries, concerns and feelings about their parent or grandparent but don’t know how to express them. What’s Shakin’ was developed as a pilot to help answer questions and provide children an environment to share and express themselves through forms of dramatic expression.

What’s Shakin’
Thursday, June 15 | 6:00 pm
Florida Hospital Parkinson’s Outreach Center
1685 Lee Rd. Ste. 110

Please call to register (407)-303-5295

Below is a video showing the importance of addressing a child’s perspective on Parkinson’s disease. This program is offering an outlet to understand the complexities of Parkinson’s.  

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Choose one or both lists

Celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day

May 31 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day! There is a growing consensus amongst researchers about the short- and long-term benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease. From dance- and theater-inspired groups to spin classes, visit our website and explore our Parkinson exercise programs available across Central Florida.

Not sure what wellness activities are in your area? Check out our website with listings of programs you could become involved in!

PD Golf Program: This group meets once a month with PGA Master Professional, John Hughes as he provides tips and tricks to help improve your golf game. He is dedicated to helping inspire individuals with Parkinson's to continue exercising and enjoying the great outdoors.

PWR! Parkinson Wellness Recovery: Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation offers a Medical Fitness Program that is safe and effective for people with Parkinson’s disease. The focus of this program is on improving movement, balance, and coordination through group-exercise sessions.

Art’s The Spark: This program exercises imagination and creativity by providing a fun and expressive environment for members of the community who may struggle with memory, but not their imagination. This event is held at the Orlando Museum of Art once a month and is held during non-public hours, offering an experience designed to use fine art as a catalyst for discussion and reminiscing.

Movement As Medicine: Modeled after the Dance for PD® program, Movement as Medicine addresses issues of flexibility, balance, spatial awareness and a sense of confidence through the use of creative and therapeutic movements and dance. Participants are empowered to explore movements with music that address these concerns in ways that are enjoyable, stimulating and creative.

Living Out Loud: Living Out Loud is a fun, interactive speech therapy group for those who have PD and have completed the LSVT Loud speech therapy. This is a monthly group, led by licensed SLP, and is offered at the Florida Hospital Church.

CHEER>DRAMA Therapy Group: This group uses laughter as exercise and Focuses on mood, movement and voice. This program is for both people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.

Pedaling for Parkinson’s: Is a Parkinson’s-specific indoor spin class on stationary spin bikes that offers high-cadence cycling which has been proven in research to improve/impact motor function.

Rock Steady Boxing: This program is offered in two locations in Orlando. One is Central Orlando, at the Wadeview Community Center, and the second one is located in Longwood. Both programs help improve the quality of life of those suffering from Parkinson's disease and focuses on balance, strength and agility while incorporating boxing exercises.

KOPD – Knock Out Parkinson’s Disease: KOPD is a collaborative effort of TITLE Boxing Club, Florida Hospital and the Parkinson Association of Central Florida. Using four different TITLE Boxing Club locations, these classes are offered with reservations.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Choose one or both lists

Central Florida Represented at The Team Fox MVP Awards Dinner

Active in their efforts to raise awareness and funds, Tonya Walker, blogger for The Shoe Maven, and Rose Babcock along side her husband Chris are Fundraiser hosts for Pints for Parkinson’s. Both are Team Fox members and contributors to the Michael J Fox Foundation. These two teams work diligently to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s disease by planning and hosting events in the Central Florida Community. Earlier in the year, The Parkinson’s Association of Central Florida sponsored these community initiatives and donated money towards the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

The awards dinner is an event hosted by the Michael J Fox Foundation to recognize the efforts of those who raise money for Team Fox. “We had an incredible evening at The Team Fox MVP Awards with Pints For Parkinson's Orlando and the rest of our Team Fox family. Parkinson's awareness month is coming to a close, but the fight for a cure continues,” Tonya stated.

Both members of the community had a wonderful time and feel motivated to continue their work in hosting events to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research. To continue following these events be sure to follow The Shoe Maven and Pints for Parkinson’s Orlando on facebook.