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Moving Day shows how movement helps battle Parkinson's

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Thu, Sep 8th 2016 12:00 pm

Organizers: Firefighters face higher risk of diagnosis

By the National Parkinson Foundation of Western New York

Coca Cola Field will come alive this weekend with the National Parkinson Foundation of Western New York's fifth annual Moving Day. More than 1,000 people are expected to fill the centerfield pavilion area on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Movement, like medication, is critical in the battle against Parkinson's disease, and Moving Day is a celebration of movement. Tai chi, yoga, dance and drumming will all be presented as effective approaches in fighting off the symptoms. The event is highlighted by a 3-mile walk along Buffalo's waterfront. Teams comprised of Parkinsonians, their caregivers, family members and friends are raising money for the local Parkinson's community. Gates will open at 8 a.m., and the walk kicks off at 10 a.m. The Moving Day goal this year is $90,000.

Parkinson's is a chronic, neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure, and the WNY chapter works to improve the quality of life the for tens of thousands of local residents who have been affected by the affliction.

"There are so many people who benefit so much from Moving Day and from the efforts of NPFWNY," Vicky Glamuzina points out. She is the president of the organization's board of directors. "Just this year, we've added new support groups, new therapeutic programming and additional educational opportunities."

Moving Day is NPFWNY's largest annual fundraiser, and its success contributes significantly to the organization's ability to provide programming. Some of the money raised will also go toward research into finding a cure.

Though monies raised locally will benefit the area's Parkinson's community, there is a nationwide theme for Moving Day events across the country.

Firefighters are three times more likely to receive a Parkinson's diagnosis than the general public. All local firefighters who join the Moving Day effort will be recognized as part of a national firefighters team.

"We have worked hard to raise awareness about this risk by contacting all of the region's fire departments," NPFWNY Executive Director Chris Jamele said. "Jim Schaefer, a fire chief from the Lancaster Fire Department, has been chosen as the Person-of-the-Year for Moving Day Buffalo 2016."

Schaefer was just 44 when he was diagnosed - a very early age for the disease. He has battled the disease for four years, and it has already curtailed some of his firefighting duties.

In support of Schaefer and the event, the Lancaster Fire Department will have a brand-new, $1.3 million ladder truck on hand.

More walkers and teams are welcome to join. To register, or for more information about Moving Day, visit www.MovingDayBuffalo.org.

Click HERE to download an informative one-sheet.

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