Alumnus Bret Parker ’93 was interviewed by the New York Law Journal about the World Marathon Challenge, a seven-marathon race that Parker will be running on seven continents in seven days, to increase awareness about Parkinson’s disease and raise money for research.
Q: Where does the money from your fundraising effort go? What does it support?
A: My efforts support The Michael J. Fox Foundation, an organization focused on finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over 60, but people have been diagnosed as young as 18. I was diagnosed over 10 years ago at 38. Approximately one million people in the U.S., and more than five million worldwide, have Parkinson’s disease.
My fundraising is part of the grassroots community fundraising effort called Team Fox. Each year, thousands of Team Fox members raise money and awareness for the foundation through various events and athletic feats. I’ve done a triathlon, marathons, a mountain climb and even a skydive. The best part is that every penny donated for Team Fox members like me goes straight to the foundation’s research programs to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease, as well as better treatments for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Q: How would you describe the state of Parkinson’s medication and research now?
A: They are making progress, but Parkinson’s is a complicated disease of the brain and the same drugs used by patients 40 years ago are still the most common medications. There is a ton of unfunded research, as well as studies that require participants—not just Parkinson’s patients, but also “healthy” control subjects.
Read full interview.