Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stomp Out Parkinson’s Walk

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Date: April 16th 2011.

I got an early start that morning, hoping that, thirty five miles away, a parking spot would be waiting for me.  I planned to walk five miles, but didn’t need any extra steps before the event.   As it turned out, I got a front row seat.

Report from the field.

Registration began at 8 am. It was cloudy and a chilly, a great day for walking along the Schuylkill River on Kelly Drive.

More than 800 people gathered, collected their T-shirts and posed for team pictures.

The group included Parkinson’s patients, both the ambulatory and rolling, their  families and  friends. Informal groups displayed handwritten signs and team tee shirts.  Some individuals, including yours truly, were out by themselves.  At 9am we  set out on our stroll.

I find it curious that the people actually do the walking part.  The goal is to raise money, and that had been achieved before the first step was taken. The entrance fees were paid, and pledges recorded.  Money raised; mission accomplished.

But,of course, the people  walked. We solicited the pledges: we did what we said we would do.  I suspect we also walked  for our own personal reasons.  Perhaps we walked to honor a family member, a friend ,or  just for the good cause.  Those with Parkinson’s walked because they still could.  Those who could no longer walk rolled in defiance of their limitation.   The physical effort provided the common bond.

Writing a check was not enough.  We showed our concern and love by celebrating  movement.  Together.

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