Organizers of the 12th annual Parkinson’s Walk anticipate up to 500 people will participate in Saturday’s event to support research for the disease.
“Right now, there is no cure. They can always find medications that can alleviate the symptoms but nothing can stop it,” said Mary Ann Navarro, the president of CSRA Parkinson Support Group.
With pre-registration and fundraising efforts, organizers have already collected $10,000. They hope to raise more money Saturday, possibly surpassing last year’s $15,000 total.
In the event’s history, about $200,000 has been donated to Parkinson’s disease research, some of which is conducted at local hospitals. About 400 walkers participated last year.
“It’s research to find the cause or the cure or treatment options,” Navarro said.
Local doctor’s have estimated that about 2,000 people suffer from Parkinson’s disease in Augusta, she said. Parkinson’s can go undiagnosed for several months or sometimes years while doctors treat patients for tremors, rigidity or other symptoms of the disease.
“It’s a time for fellowship. For having a good time with a common purpose,” Navarro said.
Chuck Bassi, a Parkinson’s patient, will participate in the walk for his fifth time using his powered wheelchair to make laps around the track. He was diagnosed in 2004 and has participated in clinical research at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
“You never know when it’s gonna flair up, but when it does it does,” Bassi said. “It affects my daily life every minute.”
Parkinson patients, their caretakers, family members and other supporters are invited to participate in the walk at the Wilson Family Y track, 3570 Wheeler Road.
The walk is at 10 a.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and costs $20.