Midwest Optimism Walk to raise funds to help people with Parkinson's to live to the fullest

  • Walkers having fun while raising funds and awareness of Parkinson's disease at the 2018 Midwest Optimism Walk.

    Walkers having fun while raising funds and awareness of Parkinson's disease at the 2018 Midwest Optimism Walk. Courtesy of American Parkinson's disease Association Midwest Chapter

Submitted by American Parkinson’s Disease Association Midwest Chapter
Posted8/30/2019 11:18 AM

The American Parkinson's Disease Association Midwest Chapter will host the APDA Midwest Optimism Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Naperville VFW Hall, 908 Jackson Ave. in Naperville. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.

This annual event is part of a nationwide series of Optimism Walks that mobilize and inspire people to step up and help put an end to Parkinson's disease. There are approximately one million people living with Parkinson's in the United States, with more being diagnosed every day.


With 18 events across the country, the Optimism Walk series brings thousands of participants together across the country to support the association's mission to help every person impacted by Parkinson's live life to the fullest. By raising funds and awareness, each and every participant in the APDA Midwest Optimism Walk is helping to make a difference for those living with the disease today and to push for answers that will ultimately make the disease a thing of the past.

Celebrating its 29th annual event, the APDA Midwest Optimism Walk is a fundraising event that offers a short walk of up to 1.5 miles, distance is optional, and other family-friendly activities. People with Parkinson's, their friends, family, co-workers and care partners will step up and help put an end to Parkinson's disease by raising much-needed funds and awareness. The event also offers additional support, educational opportunities, raffles, sponsor activities, music and most importantly, the chance to bond with others who are similarly connected.

"There is strength in numbers and year after year, when we see friends and families come together at the Midwest Optimism Walk we are reminded of how important that strength can be,'" said Roger Halleen, President, APDA Midwest Chapter board of directors. "When someone you love is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, it can be frustrating to not know how to help. But then we see that frustration turn into motivation, determination and purpose when people take part in the Optimism Walk. We hear from participants who feel proud to have made a difference, who have done their part by raising critical funds that will enable APDA to provide more programs and services right here for our local PD community."

The funds raised at the Midwest Optimism Walk help APDA provide much-needed support groups, exercise classes designed specifically for people with Parkinson's, educational conferences, and more.

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"Access to the right information and support is key to living your best life, and that's true for the person living with PD as well as care partners, friends and family," states Halleen. "APDA is the largest grass-roots network serving people with PD and their families. The more funds we raise at each Optimism Walk, the more people we can help every day."

Local programs currently include upcoming Parkinson's symposiums in Naperville and in Chicago, 40 local support groups and exercise programs, as well as additional programing through the new APDA Information & Referral Center at the University of Chicago Parkinson & Movement Disorder Clinic.

Corporate partners Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals have joined as National Sponsors of the Optimism Walk 2019 event series. Representatives from these companies will be on hand on Sept. 7 to meet members of the community and demonstrate their special commitment to helping people with Parkinson's, families and care partners as they work tirelessly to bring innovative solutions to those living with this disease.

To register for the Midwest Optimism Walk, visit www.apdaparkinson.org/midwest or call (630) 933-4392.

The American Parkinson's Disease Association is the largest grass-roots network dedicated to fighting Parkinson's disease and works tirelessly to assist the more than 1 million people in the United States with PD live life to the fullest in the face of this chronic, neurological disorder. Founded in 1961, APDA has raised and invested more than $185 million to provide outstanding patient services and educational programs, elevate public awareness about the disease, and support research designed to unlock the mysteries of PD and ultimately put an end to this disease. To join in the fight against Parkinson's disease and to learn more about the support APDA provides nationally through our network of chapters and information & referral centers, as well as our national research program and centers for advanced research, visit www.apdaparkinson.org.

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