Extra Dosage | Fundraising is a Family Affair
This is a special bonus episode of the When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast which we are calling “Extra Dosage.” Full episodes of Season 2 are available every other Wednesday.
This Extra Dosage is about a young man and his family, using their passion for running, to help raise funds for Parkinson’s research.
Anthony Kerkman, 32, lives in Pickerington, Ohio in an idyllic neighbourhood with sprawling manicured lawns, multi-tiered back decks, and driveways that are three cars wide.
In September 2018, Anthony emailed me directly for the first time in his life.
A month later, he emailed again. I was the one fighting back tears.
Over the next 10 months, Anthony, Lesley and daughters Hannah, 15, and Sophia, 11, worked with the Michael J Fox Foundation and the Columbus Running Company to organize a family friendly 5k walk/run.
Anthony met with city officials, fire chiefs, and school administrators. He filed for permits, ordered t-shirts, found sponsors and rallied his family and friends from all sides.
I flew to Ohio for the August 24th Tremor Trot. Anthony, his family and I showed up before the sunrise to hang banners, greet volunteers and set up tables so his grandmas could run registration. Family friends staffed the water stations. It was a family affair from top to bottom. Even Hannah was instrumental in the event, she drew the very cool logo of an orange fox in sunglasses, running a race.
Before too long the crowds arrived. I immediately recognized many faces in the crowd. It was a mix of childhood friends, fraternity brothers, and my parent’s friends for 60-some years. They were there to support Anthony and his efforts to raise money for Parkinson’s research as much as they were there to support me and my journey with PD. Anthony wasn’t surprised, “We are down here watching you do all this advocacy in Canada and we’re not in Canada. We’re here. This was something we could do to show our support.”
By the time the whistle blew to start the 5k, 175 participants had signed up which far exceeded Anthony’s goal of 75. The event raise $8,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, 100% of which will go directly to high-impact Parkinson’s research.
What I have learned through Anthony’s efforts is that everyone can do something to help raise funds or awareness of Parkinson’s. I host a podcast, speak on radio and TV and host events. That is my super power, while running in 5ks for charity is Anthony and Lesley’s. Use what comes natural to you to help make a difference in the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease. Go ahead, take the first step.
Parkinson’s IQ + You
In the coming months, I will be traveling with the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s to host a series of live, free, day-long educational events called “Parkinson’s IQ + You.” We will be featuring highlights of each event in upcoming Extra Dosage episodes. If you live in the United States, I hope to see you soon! See the full schedule and register for free here.
Saturday, September 14, 2019, the series kicks off in Atlanta, Georgia.
Saturday, December 14, 2019, Anaheim, California.
Saturday, January 11, 2019, Phoenix, Arizona.
Other sites recently announced include South Florida, Chicago, Oakland, and Houston.
If you have a comment or question about the podcast, you can email us: [email protected]
We invite you to add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons
Follow me, Larry Gifford
Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmayer
Special thanks to…
Anthony Kerkman, Lesley Kerkman, Hannah and Sophia, Marty Gifford, Dan Gifford, Dee Gifford, Tracy Cherry, Debi Brooks, Columbus Running Company, and the city of Pickerington, Ohio.
For more info on our presenting partner Parkinson Canada head to http://www.parkinson.ca/
The toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000
Or follow them on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada
Thanks also to our content and promotional partners
Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation
Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease.