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Launching into Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

April 5, 2022

What is Parkinson’s Disease?


Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects motor function. Dopamine producing cells within the brain die, resulting in movement problems. We still do not know why these cells begin to die. We do know that age is the main risk factor associated with developing PD. Most people with the disease begin to notice symptoms around the age of 60, but about 5-10% of cases begin as “early-onset” in people as young as 50. PD often begins as a tremor in one hand. As nerve cell damage increases, other symptoms such as muscle stiffness, slow movements, and loss of balance develop. Although there is a small genetic component associated with PD, most researchers believe it is a result of a combination of environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins. For this reason, PD is incredibly complex. Other non-movement related symptoms include fatigue, irregular blood pressure, poor digestion, as well as accelerated cognitive and mental health decline. 


Why is this SO Important?


Here at Sunways, we have seen how difficult it is to live with and manage this disease. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for PD. Funding for new research is of utmost importance! So please consider getting involved in your local community. Search for organizations and facilities hosting events. If you are unable to make a donation, consider volunteering your time. Let us all contribute to a PD free future this April. 


If you need support as a caregiver, PLEASE do not hesitate to reach out to us for support and resources!


How can YOU Help in Sarasota . . . 


We are so glad that Sunway’s headquarters is based out of Sarasota Florida. We work closely with the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s. They are a 501c3 that serves over 3,000 people who are affected by Parkinsons each year…and at NO COST. They provide online and in-person support, classes and programming with their “A Better Approach to Parkinson’s”. Their recent Expo was a huge success! If you missed it, don’t worry, their upcoming Cause for Hope event is on April 23rd and helps raise money to support their mission. 


We would also like to remind our local followers that Parkinson Place in Sarasota is another nonprofit organization offering over 80 free classes every month for those with PD and their caregivers. This involves access to guided fitness programs, connection with support groups, and more. This Sunday, April 10th, Sarasota Polo Club is hosting a polo match, followed by lunch and a silent auction. All proceeds benefit Parkinson Place, so head over to their website to grab tickets! 


Sarasota is also home to the Parkinson’s Research Foundation. Please consider donating to this local research foundation to help advance treatment efforts; and join their email list for newsletter updates about how to get involved and stay educated. Let’s all play a part in recognizing and supporting those with Parkinson’s Disease this month! 


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