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National Parkinson Foundation Heartland Chapter: Making Life Better for People with Parkinson’s

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Kent Donley compares the day he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to getting hit by lightning. He went from being in good health with what he thought were age-related issues to immediately beginning a new regimen of medications, doctors’ visits and exercise classes. He had to learn how to live life all over again.

After learning how to live with Parkinson’s, Kent set out to make a difference in his new community. He feels that outreach events such as Moving Day® Kansas City, A Walk for Parkinson’s, allow people to see what’s going on in the lives of those around them. “I feel a motivation to make a difference in other people’s lives,” he said.

People Who Move Change the World
Moving Day is a fun and inspiring fundraising event that unites families, friends and the local Parkinson’s community to come together. Kent’s inspiration led him to raise $84,205 and recruit 323 people to walk on his Moving Day Kansas City team. “It’s a dedication to get people moving,” Kent said. “By walking with them, you support them.”

A recent study funded by the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) discovered that two and a half hours of weekly exercise can help manage Parkinson’s symptoms. That’s why Kent boxes, stretches, lifts weights and persistently works out.

Kent joins the 100,000 people nationwide who celebrate movement by attending Moving Day®. Taking place in 23 cities across the U.S., each event features a family friendly walk course and a Movement Pavilion that hosts yoga, dance, Tai Chi and non-contact boxing classes.

Funds raised through Moving Day support the Foundation’s mission by delivering expert care to more than 105,000 people with PD, funding cutting-edge research and delivering community grants that support local Parkinson’s programs.

Why We Fight
The Foundation is dedicated to making life better for people with Parkinson’s through expert care and research. The non-profit helps people actively enjoy life with their friends, families, children and grandchildren until there is a tomorrow without Parkinson’s.

While NPF Heartland is based in Kansas City, the chapter provides Parkinson’s exercise and wellness classes, programs and support groups throughout the state of Kansas and Western Missouri. Whether a participant is newly diagnosed or living with advanced Parkinson’s, NPF Heartland is here to support the entire Parkinson’s community, caregivers included.

Every Nine Minutes
Someone is diagnosed with PD every nine minutes. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. Motor symptoms such as tremors and lack of facial expression as well as non-motor symptoms such as depression, anxiety and sleep disorders are associated with Parkinson’s. People with Parkinson’s should seek expert care and treatment that includes seeing a movement disorder specialist. There is no cure and approximately 10,000 people in the Kansas City area and one million Americans are living with Parkinson’s.

To learn more about NPF Heartland, visit

Written by: Jane Ann Gorsky

Help Raise Parkinson’s Awareness
Join Kent and your local Parkinson’s community to raise PD awareness at Moving Day® Kansas City.

When: Saturday, June 10, 2017
Where: Liberty Memorial What: A celebration of movement that features a family friendly walk course, kids area,  caregivers relaxation tent and Movement Pavilion featuring exercise classes that help manage PD symptoms.
Register: Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Teams may register in advance at