Team Functionize is pedaling towards a Parkinson’s Disease cure with the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Tour de Fox! But, what does that mean, exactly? What is riding a bike going to do?
Well, it’s not so much the riding of bikes as it is the raising of money, of course. As we push our Tour de Fox fundraising into high gear, I want to make sure I highlight exactly just how important your donations are. Some of you may not realize, but 100% of gifts made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) go directly towards finding a cure. Not for fluff, not for parties, but for a real, honest-to-God end to Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and related parkinsonisms. Essentially, it is MJFF’s ultimate goal to go out of business- not to make a profit.
So, who exactly are you helping? According to Parkinson’s Foundation:
-Nearly one million will be living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in the U.S. by 2020, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease (or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) -Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year. -More than 10 million people worldwide are living with PD. -Incidence of Parkinson’s disease increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before age 50. -Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson’s disease than women.
And, if you are unaware, you’re helping my dad! You can read more about our personal reasons for riding in the Tour de Fox here, but based on the stats above, I’m willing to bet you know someone who is affected by PD, too. (Please feel free to tell us about your own journey with Parkinson’s in the comments below, or email me at marykathleen@functionizehealth. I would love to commiserate about the hardships, or remember someone special.)
If we’re being honest, it’s incredibly difficult to ask people to give money towards a cure that, well, may seem a bit pointless to some. Many of those affected are older and it can progress at such a slow pace, often making it easy to ignore.
But, it isn’t pointless. People are being diagnosed before their 50th birthday and PD doesn’t just make you shake. It robs you of your independence, your motivation, and unhappiness. It causes depression in people who have never had a history of depression. It is a nasty thief that steals years by stealing experiences that can no longer happen and memories that have already been made. It is tortuous, and I can only say this from the perspective of a loved one. I can’t imagine how much worse it is to have PD, or a Parkinson’s-related diagnosis.
So, I want to reiterate just how meaningful your donations are and shed some light on exactly what they do! Because this short video from the Michael J Fox Foundation can do that much better than I can, I’ll let it do the talking!
Your generation is not only felt by me and my family, or the Functionize Team- you’ve truly made an impact in the entire Parkinson’s community by playing a real role in ending this awful disease. And, truly, I can’t thank you enough.