Posted by Nancy Mazonson
Though the weather was soggy and cold on Saturday, October 11, hundreds of hearty New Englanders walked, danced, boxed, zumba'ed and drummed to raise awareness and raise funds for Parkinson's disease (PD): the first National Parkinson's Foundation Movement Day Walk in Boston was a resounding success! And what was the overarching message of the day? If you have Parkinson's disease, find ways to educate yourself, connect, and KEEP MOVING!
Families clad in ponchos and t-shirts braved the rain to honor loved ones and friends by participating. Each family had a story to tell about their experience with PD, including Lana and Jack Farina who are regular participants at the JF&CS Parkinson's Family Support dance program. Several months ago, Lana and Jack told their children that it would be meaningful to them to complete the Moving Day walk together, as a family. Several of their adult children run a family business, which was started when their parents immigrated to the US in 1940. In order to assemble en mass, Lana and Jack's children decided to close their shop for the day, which generally does a great deal of business on the weekends. The entire family -children and grandchildren - gathered together on Moving Day and completed the walk to honor Jack, who has PD. Lana and Jack were moved to be surrounded by their family and noted that the only other occasion on which the store had been closed on a weekend was for their children's weddings.
Here at JF&CS, our professionally run programs mirror the message of Movement Day: that families need to know where to turn for support, information, and meaningful programming that can offer hope and help for PD. We were proud to be part of Movement Day and look forward to a sunny fall day for next year's walk.
Nancy Mazonson, MS, OTR/L, has coordinated the Parkinson's Family Support program of JF&CS since its inception in September 2006. The program is a leading resource in the Boston area with its unique programs, including Parkinson's Dance, Adult Child and Care Partner support groups, and Tremble Clefs choral singing group. Prior to her work at JF&CS, Nancy worked extensively as an occupational therapist in inpatient and community-based rehabilitation settings, specializing in helping people with degenerative neurological conditions.