March Of Dimes And Parkinson Disease Walk - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/12/08- Tyler

March Of Dimes And Parkinson Disease Walk

More than 100 East Texans got up early Saturday morning to raise awareness about a disease that affects millions of people.

For the first time, the American Parkinson Disease Association in Tyler held a Walk-A-Thon.  Many laced up their shoes for a fun-run as well.  Organizers said they hope to spread the word about Parkinson's and raise money for research on the disease that often goes undetected.

"We have well over 1200 patients in Tyler right now and there're many more," said Dr. George Plotkin with ETMC.  "Some of them don't know they can get treatment.  It's usually startling when they show up.  We ask them how long they've had Parkinson's, and they don't even realize they have it."  Over at Bergfeld Park in Tyler Saturday morning, East Texans were walking with the March Of Dimes.  The organization works to help reduce the risk of birth defects and premature births.

"It may be subtle, but it may be really bad where the child is, so affected they're in a wheelchair, or they lose their vision completely, or they have cerebral palsy, or something really bad," said Program Services Coordinator for Northeast Texas March Of Dimes Susan Bennett.  "If we can get people to get engaged early on and help prevent that premature birth then we can have healthier children."  Volunteers with both organizations encourage more people to get involved and help make a difference. 

Courtney Lane, Reporting

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