April is Parkinson's Awareness Month!

 Pictured from left to right: John Gabriel, former General Manager with the Orlando Magic and PACF Board Member; Dr. Kihyeong Lee and David Collis, president at Florida Hospital Foundation. 

Pictured from left to right: John Gabriel, former General Manager with the Orlando Magic and PACF Board Member; Dr. Kihyeong Lee and David Collis, president at Florida Hospital Foundation. 

Florida Hospital and the Parkinson Association of Central Florida kicked off the month, with the Brain and Beyond Conference on Thursday, held in Lake Mary, where over 500 attended to learn about the latest trends in managing Parkinson’s symptoms and improving their quality of life. The conference featured physicians and researchers that provided positive messages to help manage this disorder.

American Ninja Warrior contestant, Michael J Fox fundraiser, and outspoken young onset Parkinson’s advocate, Jimmy Choi presented about his experiences of denial before seeking medical help. Choi, was diagnosed at age 27 and continues to not let Parkinson’s define him.

During the conference, the Parkinson Association of Central Florida announced a gift agreement of $250,000 for Florida Hospital Foundation, to develop a movement disorder specialty program to help patients stay ahead of the disease. Approximately one million have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the US, with at least 20,000 living in the Central Florida area.

“The relationship between Florida Hospital and the Parkinson Association of Central Florida is a major step towards bringing world-class care in the movement disorder area to our community. Over 20,000 Parkinson’s patients will now be able to receive care in their own backyard,” states John Gabriel, former General Manager with the Orlando Magic and PACF Board Member.

 Many Walkers enjoyed the beautiful sunshine at the Walk on Saturday morning.

Many Walkers enjoyed the beautiful sunshine at the Walk on Saturday morning.

On Saturday the Parkinson Association of Central Florida held their fifth annual WALK FOR PARKINSON to raise awareness and funds to continue providing support to the Central Florida community. More than 500 came out to enjoy the Florida sunshine, vendors and sponsors. The audience then took part in moving with hundreds who shared a common goal to help beat Parkinson’s. Many jogged, walked and strolled around Cranes Roost in Altamonte Springs to DJ Steve’s music. The money raised will go to research, education and outreach programs to provide the best care for those affected by Parkinson’s and their loved ones. This year’s goal of $125,000 will be reached and continue to grow throughout the month. Contributions are still being accepted at parkinsoncf.org.