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2015 New England Parkinson's Ride

WHY PARKINSON’S DISEASE

This raffle is the brainchild of Melissa and Jessica, while Qaisra and Keith have been the driving force to make it work.

As you may know, Parkinson's is a movement disorder disease which affects one in 100 people over the age of 60, with symptoms in some cases being recognized as early as 18 years of age, and over 1 million people in the US. The factors which cause this debilitating disease vary in range from genetic predispositions, to environmental exposures while the treatment for this disorder can vary from medication to brain implant procedures.

WHY WE CHOSE THE NEW ENGLAND PARKINSON'S RIDE

Why we chose the New England Parkinson's Ride as a CAUSE worthy of this work is because of a personal connection to the person who inspired it. Immediately following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, a college roommate of mine, Chris Woods, volunteered two weeks of his time aiding those who lost everything. Immediately following his return from New Orleans, he began to notice symptoms in his right foot and arm. These progressed, and subsequently, at the age of 40, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Chris had taken part in several fun raising bike rides for MS and Diabetes in order to support those in his family suffering from these disorders. Following his diagnosis, an additional focus was added and those who know Chris organized something to help him. Initially, Chris' family and very close friends took part in a bike ride called the Boston to Portland starting with the nine riders, then growing to almost 75 in three years. Chris's mother Edna and sister Cindy took the helm of the cause and created the New England Parkinson's ride. Currently, it is one of the largest single day fundraisers for the Michael J Fox foundation every year, and now has over 300 riders traveling 100, 50, 35, or 10 miles throughout southern Maine each year early in September. 100% of all the money raised by the cyclists through New England Parkinson's ride goes directly to the Michael J Fox Foundation.

Chris continues despite increasing difficulty to ride 100 miles every year. I, along with many of our classmates from Springfield College have committed to participating in this event every year until a cure for our friend Chris, and possibly your friend, family member or acquaintance is realized. We appreciate your participation in this raffle and wish you good luck. More importantly, I would like to thank you personally for the donations to this great cause.

James Jablonka, PT