By Jeri Boyd, Sirote & Permutt paralegal and Alabama Parkinson’s Fighter Walk founder
When I was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 53, I prayed that I would maintain a positive attitude and be able to help others who struggle with this disease. Because the average person diagnosed with the disease is in their 60’s, it was hard for me to find any support groups for early-onset Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s Disease affects the nervous system and can cause tremors, muscular rigidity and slow, imprecise movements. In my case, my left hand shakes, making it difficult to type, and sometimes my medications make it hard to concentrate. But my coworkers at Sirote & Permutt are very supportive.
Three years ago, I learned about the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York City, an event that raises funds for Parkinson’s research. Although I wasn’t able to participate myself, I raised money within our office to support the walk and made it my personal goal to attend the next year. Last year, I was able to participate in the Unity Walk in New York. I headed for the “big city” with two of my closest friends, and with the help of Sirote, had donations that exceeded the previous year and went directly to Parkinson’s Research.
When I returned home and learned that no such walk existed in Birmingham, I decided to make it my personal goal to start one here. Our team is The Alabama Parkinson’s Fighter Walk, and 100 percent of the net proceeds raised from this one-mile walk will go directly to The Parkinson’s Unity Walk, which funds Parkinson’s research. We hope that this will turn into an annual event.
I am grateful to my Sirote family, because I could not have done any of this without their support.
The inaugural 2013 Parkinson’s Fighter Walk will be held March 9, 2013, at 9 a.m. at Veteran’s Park in Alabaster. Our Facebook page gives more information about this special event.
I’m fortunate to have help in organizing the walk from a group of women who understand the importance of raising funds for research. Susan Conger, Jennifer Wilson, Laura Lieb and Karen Verciglio are all instrumental in making this walk a reality. And our fundraising bake sale held at Sirote & Permutt on Feb. 22 was a huge success! View photos here.
I hope that you’ll participate in this walk to help find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease!
Sirote Supports, a Sirote & Permutt initiative, provides support to programs that strengthen the community and positively impact the areas of health, education and the arts. To learn more about Sirote & Permutt, please visit us at www.sirote.com.