BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – While many took to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Bills home-opener, others checked out the other big stadium in Western New York, Coca-Cola Field. The 4th annual “Moving Day” walk and movement celebration raises awareness for Parkinson’s disease.
Michael Boychuck was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 10 years ago. He is just one of the nearly nine thousand people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Western New York alone.
He said, “When I got it, I didn’t know what it was. All I knew was it was the Michael J. Fox disease.” But in reality, this disease touches more than you would think. Chris Jamele, Executive Director of the National Parkinson’s Foundation of WNY said, “The key with a Parkinson’s diagnosis is that it always involves more than one person. There is the patient who can’t get along without a caregiver. So it involves at least two people with each diagnosis,” he said. The event, “Moving Day” hopes to raise $80 thousand dollars to support patients.
He said, “It’s a progressive, neurological disorder, and there’s no cure for it. So we’re here to help make the lives better for caregivers and for patients.” The event gets its name because movement is a key factor in the battle against the disease.
Jamele said, “Movement is key. If you’re a swimmer keep swimming, If you’re a walker keep walking, If you’re a bicycle rider, keep riding a bicycle. Play golf, anything. The more you move, the longer it takes for the Parkinson’s to effect the muscles and for the symptoms to set in.”
The National Parkinson’s Foundation of Western New York supports groups through exercise, therapy and education. Boychuck said, “It’s just nice to see the community come together. Friends and family to support you, and you get those extra hugs!”
Last year the event had 600 participants and raised $70 thousand dollars. And despite the rain, they are hoping to beat that goal this year.