“My Story” Moving Day® 2015

We are gearing up for Moving Day® 2015!

In the months leading up to Moving Day® we will be highlighting teams who have participated in the past and telling the story of why they walk. Interested in having your team featured? Email Rachel at rachel@parkinsonmn.org for more information.

Our first team to sign up this year, Gail’s Gang, is led by Alicia Mady. Alicia registered her team the day our website went live and has already raised over $2,300. Below is the story of why Alicia and her group walks for Parkinson’s:

Alicia team

Alicia was our first team leader to sign up this year, registering as soon as our official page launched (and even before we made our official announcement!).

Alicia walks for her grandmother, who passed away this summer. For the past three years it was always about walking in her grandmother’s honor, but this year she will be walking in memory of her grandmother.

“I basically grew up at my Grandma’s house,” said Alicia. “She was always there for me and was literally my best friend. It was hard losing her this summer and I still tear up when I think about how much I miss her. For me, fundraising for the NPFM is a way I can still express how much my Grandma meant to me and how much she touched my life.”

Even with the difficult loss for her and her family, Alicia continues to participate in Moving Day® because she knows the impact NPFM has on so many families and individuals living with PD across the state.

“NPFM is an amazing organization to support because they give support to people who have Parkinson’s NOW and who are caregivers to people with Parkinson’s NOW,” said Alicia. “It’s not just about finding a cure, it’s about a better quality of life for those that this terrible disease affects.”

Alicia’s passion for Moving Day® is evident through her ambition as a team leader. Not only was she the first team to register for 2015, but she also has set a goal to be the #1 fundraising team at the walk this year. To date, she has raised over $2,308 through family, friends and a food sale event where she works.

“I wanted to get our team off to a good, early start so I organized a ‘Baked Goods and Food’ Sale at work. I asked coworkers if they could bring items like donuts, soups, sandwiches, desserts, and chicken wings. Each item had a suggested donation price and a donation box was setup in the room. People came, grabbed food, and donated what they could. Everyone involved had a great time!! It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it. We raised over $2,000 during the sale!”

You can read more about Alicia, her grandmother and her team on their page: http://www3.parkinson.org/site/TR?px=1077933&fr_id=2030&pg=personal

Alicia gma


PD Shimmers Lights Neighborhood, Raises Awareness












You don’t have to look far to find lights in neighborhood yards to celebrate the holiday season.

But for a man in Plymouth, the yard display goes beyond helping his neighborhood brighten for the holidays.

Mike Justak, founder of PD Shimmers, lights up his neighborhood each year with a special message: 58,000 lights shining bright, representing the number of people newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year.

Mike was diagnosed with PD several years ago, which is why the lights and number are important to him. After seeing a video online about light presentations he was hooked, and started making plans to create his own.

Year one saw just 8,000 lights in his presentation. It is now 58,000 and eight neighbors joining in the fun. The entire presentation is synchronized to music, broadcast on its very own radio station. Mike has even set up a live stream so those unable to attend can still enjoy the show.

The show runs daily from 5-10 p.m. at 4320 Ithaca Lane North in Plymouth.

For more information or to watch the live stream, visit www.pdshimmers.com.


lights-web mike-shimmers


12 Days of NPFM

Thanks Minnesota for making 2014 a great year for the National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota. Our reach has been far and wide, but here are a few highlights of our events and outreach throughout the past year.









“Living with Parkinson’s” TPT production

Working with TPT, we were able to produce “Living with Parkinson’s”, a half-hour show dedicated to PD, from diagnosis to living with the disease. The show is available online, including segment breaks relevant to specific topics. If you are interested in receiving a DVD copy of the show please contact our office at info@parkinsonmn.org or call 763.545.1272.

And keep an eye out next year as we introduce a special medical feature each month in relation to each of the topics covered in “Living with Parkinson’s”.

Education Materials

In addition to guest speakers, grants and support group assistance, NPFM also offers materials for people living with Parkinson’s to learn more about the disease and the many facets they may encounter during the journey.

The popular ‘Rainbow Books’, the widely respected  ten-volume Parkinson’s education series focused on issues critical to patients. Patients, families and professionals alike consider these books essential for education about PD, ranging from introductory information to more in-depth material that can be kept and reread many times over.

Interested in getting your own copies of the series? Want a book just on medications, sleep or caregiving? Email us at info@parkinsonmn.org or call 763.545.1272 to request your FREE issues.

Support Group Materials

NPFM is fortunate to assist those who assist others by providing reference materials for support groups.

This year support groups around the state received three books and a DVD with the “Living with Parkinson’s” show from TPT. The materials can be used as a discussion topic for support group meetings or loaned out to group members.

Give to the Max Day

An annual day of online giving in Minnesota, the 2014 Give to the Max Day was a great success. Thanks to the generosity of the PD community in the state NPFM was able to raise nearly $9,000, almost doubling the total from the previous year.

The day gave individuals an opportunity to donate to our Parkinson-Friendly Communities initiative, support grants or the general fund.

Thank you to everyone who donated, and to our People with Parkinson’s Advisory Board who served as the face (literally) of the marketing materials.

Educational Speakers

NPFM is proud to offer educational speakers throughout the year. In addition to Evenings Out, we partner with local organizations that work directly with the Parkinson’s community to host informational sessions around the state.

Additionally, members of the Clinical Advisory Board (medical professionals) and the People with Parkinson’s Advisory Committee are available for speaking/educational events. Interested in having someone speak to your group? Contact us at info@parkinsonmn.org.

Dance to Break the Record

Held this year at the Ridgedale YMCA in Minnetonka, Dance to Break the Record offered an opportunity for the Parkinson’s community to come together and get active through dance while challenging chapters from around the country to beat our record of most people dancing for Parkinson’s at one time.

In addition to the record breaking dance, the day also offered tango lessons, free dance and a prize raffle.

Struthers Parkinson’s Center

The local National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, NPFM works closely with Struthers by providing funding for education and other outreach programs across the state. This year, in addition to general education, Struthers offered a successful exercise training program for group exercise leaders. This training was designed to educate group leaders about how to work with PD patients in exercise programs, helping to maximize exercise effectiveness. This program is just one example of the importance of exercise, and how Struthers works to help improve the lives of those living with PD.

Thank you to Struthers for all that you do!

Evening Out for Parkinson’s

NPFM is proud to host two Evening Out for Parkinson’s each year. The event provides a Parkinson’s-friendly dinner and entertainment for the Parkinson’s community.  Often, Parkinson’s families may be isolated because of the disease and its visible symptoms.  The Evening Out for Parkinson’s is an opportunity for Parkinson’s families to enjoy a celebration without fear or hesitation.

Parkinson-Friendly Communities

Through a generous grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, NPFM has been able to work with cities around the state to form Parkinson-Friendly Communities (PFC). Alexandria, Fargo/Moorhead, Willmar, St. Cloud and Mankato have all been touched by NPFM through educational and exercise initiatives, engaging not only people living with PD, but the community as a whole.

For a look at where we’ve been and what we’ve done, read the following article.









Golf Tournament

The annual golf tournament was held this year on June 30 at the Minnesota Valley Country Club. This year through the generosity of sponsors, donors and participants we were able to raise $75,000 to support the Parkinson Support Grant Program.

Since its inception in 2006, the annual event has raised over $250,000 for the support grant program.











Parkinson Support Grant Program

NPFM supports those living with and affected by Parkinson’s with its Parkinson Support Grant Program.

Originally conceived as a caregiver respite grant program, this year we expanded our reach by adding help-at-home and exercise initiatives. Individuals/families are welcome to apply for one of the three grants worth $500 every 12 months.

For more information, check out the brochure below or visit our website.

Support Grant Brochure

Moving Day® Walk
The 2014 Moving Day® walk was a success, with over $231,000 raised from nearly 2,500 donors.

A day to unite families, friends and communities both large and small in the fight against Parkinson’s disease, the event offers unique exercise and educational areas in addition to the traditional walk. The walk has continued to grow every year since its inception and we hope that 2015 is no different. Team sign-up has already started! Learn more and join us now in our mission to help those affected by PD.

Medtronic billboard

Struthers Receives HealthPartners Award











The Struthers Parkinson’s Center, a National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) Center of Excellence located in Golden Valley, was recognized with the HealthPartners President’s Team Award Thursday evening in downtown Minneapolis.

The award is presented to teams within the HealthPartners network that go above and beyond to improve the health of members, patients and the community.

Struthers innovative model of care using a team-based approach, has been servicing the area since 1978, and has resided at its current location in Golden Valley since 1995. Struthers serves the needs of Parkinson’s patients and their families through comprehensive assessment, interdisciplinary treatment, support, research and education for both patients and care partners. The ultimate goal is to improve quality of life at every stage and help people live well with Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about Struthers and what it offers visit its website.

November is Caregiver Appreciation Month

caregiver button










As the calendar turns to November, we would like to take a moment to recognize and thank caregivers during National Caregivers Month.

Caregivers play an important role in the well-being of those living with Parkinson’s, and the wonderful work they do on a daily basis may often times be overlooked.

Which is why November is an important month to put aside some time to recognize caregivers you know and show them your appreciation. From providing a day of respite, to acting as a sounding board or just helping with small things around the house, there are many ways individuals can show their family caregiver appreciation.

Need some ideas? Here is a list of 30 Ways to Honor Caregivers from our national headquarters.

A new initiative launched by NPFM, CareMAP, is a great resource center for caregivers, especially those living with advanced Parkinson’s. The website has a local tie, with Struthers Parkinson’s Center’s Rose Wichmann and Joan Gardner helping bring the project to life.

Like to the Max!

like to the max











Give to the Max day is rapidly approaching and we are gearing up with our “Like to the Max!” campaign!

Help us get to over 1,000 followers on Facebook! Visit www.facebook.com/parkinsonmn, like our page and get all of your friends and family to like our page by October 30. If we reach 1,000 likes we will have a special announcement regarding Give to the Max.

So get out there, share our page and help us spread our mission of helping those living with PD in the state of Minnesota!

November 13 is Give to the Max Day

Donate Widget

Every Face Has a Different Story. Help us tell those stories and improve the lives of those living with Parkinson’s in Minnesota.

If you’ve met one patient with Parkinson’s, you’ve only begun to hear the story of PD.

Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, affects over 25,000 people in the state of Minnesota. The North Star State ranks third nationally in its per-capita population affected by PD, trailing only its neighbors North Dakota and South Dakota.

While symptoms may appear similar in PD patients, how and when they affect each patient varies vastly. Every face tells a different story.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. But at the National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota (NPFM), we are dedicated to helping improve the lives of those living with PD. Through outreach events, educational materials and support, NPFM partners not only with patients, but caregivers, the medical and research community and support groups to enrich lives of those directly impacted by PD.

Your generous gift stays in Minnesota to help us enable more patients, engage a larger community and elevate our voice.  

We are greatful and appreciative of your support.

Here’s a look at our #GTM14 lineup!
We will have two four-hour blocks dedicated solely to our special projects, Parkinson-Friendly Communities and Parkinson Support Grants.

– 8:00 a.m.-noon will be our Parkinson-Friendly Communities focus, with all funds going toward our PFC initiative to help raise awareness and provide outreach across greater Minnesota. Visit the page at https://givemn.org/project/Parkinson-Friendly-Communities5432cc924e268.

– 4:00-8:00 p.m. will be our focus on Parkinson Support Grants, an annual $500 grant program for those living with PD to assist in respite care, help-at-home and exercise. Visit the page at https://givemn.org/project/Parkinson-Support-Grants5432cbe9db018.

We will also have several prize giveaways throughout the day!
 Be sure to check out our Facebook page throughout the day for more details on the giveaway items and hourly updates on our donation progress!

– 4:00-8:00 a.m. – All donations received between those hours will be eligible to win a Parkinson’s blanket and resource books

– 8:00 a.m.-noon – All donations received during our PFC power hours will be eligible to win one of two $75 Visa gift cards

– Noon-4:00 p.m. – All donations received between those hours will be eligible to win a dinner and a movie package, with a gift certificate to Ham’s Sandwich Shop in Minnetonka and movie passes from AMC

– 4:00-8:00 p.m. – All donations received during our Parkinson Assistance Grants power hours will be eligible to win a basketball autographed by Minnesota men’s basketball head coach Richard Pitino and two tickets to the Gophers game versus Purdue on February 7



Parkinson-Friendly Communities coming to Mankato


When: Tuesday, September 30, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Where: VINE Adult Community Center, 421 E. Hickory Street, Mankato
Register: Call 763.545.1272 or email info@parkinsonmn.org

NPFM welcomes those living with Parkinson’s and the entire greater-Mankato area to learn more about the organization and its efforts to work with the community to make it more Parkinson-Friendly through outreach, education and events.

NPFM is the Minnesota chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation, operating as a local nonprofit working to raise awareness and funds for the upper Midwest Parkinson’s community. The organization works to better the lives of those living and impacted by PD through outreach and providing resources.

The creation of Parkinson-Friendly communities is possible through a generous grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation. The effort works to ensure individuals and families touched by Parkinson’s remain vibrant, engaged members of our communities. NPFM has been working in several communities around the state including Alexandria, Willmar and Fargo, and are excited to expand into Mankato.


NPFM Accepts #PieItForward Challenge


Over 25,000 people are living with Parkinson’s in the state of Minnesota, the third-highest per-capita total in the United States.

Working alongside the National Parkinson Foundation, NPF Minnesota decided to help raise awareness and funds for Parkinson’s by participating in the #pieitforward campaign.

To kick off the campaign, executive director David Wheeler and past president Paul Blom accepted the challenge. Watch their video for inspiration and to see who they challenged, then join the effort by following the instructions below!

Want to do Whatever It Takes to Beat Parkinson’s?
To show your support for Parkinson’s? Here are the few easy steps.

1. All those challenged must take a whipped cream pie to the face.

2. When you complete your challenge, the person who challenged you must then donate to the cause. You may also challenge more individuals to participate and help spread awareness!

3. Be sure to share your videos on your favorite social media networks using #PieItForward – then send us the link to your video!

Donations can be made directly to NPFM to help our mission to raise awareness and provide outreach opportunities in the state of Minnesota. Please specify your donation as #pieitforward challenge when submitting.

Donations can also be made to our national office.

We look forward to seeing your best videos for a great cause, Minnesota!

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