Wednesday, June 12, 2024

American Parkinson’s Disease Association Virginia Chapter to Host Optimism Walk

APEX Physical Therapy Walk Team at Last Year’s Optimism Walk (APDA Virginia Chapter)

WILLIAMSBURG— The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) Virginia Chapter is hosting its annual Optimism Walk event in Williamsburg as part of a nationwide initiative to raise awareness and vital funds for the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community.

The local walk is set to take place on Saturday, June 8 at the Warhill Sports Complex Stadium and promises to be an inspiring day of community, support, and optimism.

According to the association, the Optimism Walk series is a cornerstone of its efforts to empower individuals living with PD and their families while advancing research toward better treatments and ultimately a cure. By participating in the walk, attendees not only show solidarity with those affected by Parkinson’s but also contribute to the essential resources and programs provided by APDA to the local PD community, it said. 

The organization notes there are approximately one million people living with Parkinson’s disease in the United States — 25,000 of which are in Virginia.

The APDA Virginia Optimism Walk is a family-friendly event that offers a short walk of up to a quarter of a mile (distance is optional) and other activities including physical and speech therapy assessments, raffles, Parkinson’s Karaoke, care partner resources, and most importantly, the chance to bond with others who are similarly connected. It is perfect for people with PD, their friends, family, coworkers, and care partners — anyone who wants to step up and help put an end to this disease.

APDA notes fundraising efforts are crucial in supporting its mission to provide the support, education, and research that will help everyone impacted by Parkinson’s disease live life to the fullest, and as such, there are rewards for anyone fundraising $100 or more. Funds raised help fuel APDA Virginia Chapter programs and resources such as newly diagnosed resources and education programs, support group development, advanced care facility training resources, patient education materials for hospitals and health care facilities, and community resource programs.

“With a new Parkinson’s disease diagnosis every six minutes, PD affects millions of individuals and families across the country,” says Kathryn Wiesmann, Chapter Coordinator, APDA Virginia Chapter. “Events like the APDA Optimism Walk are instrumental not only in rallying support for our critical work, but also in forging a sense of community and camaraderie that is so crucial for people living with PD.”

Regional sponsor Sentara Health is a supporter of the event, along with other local sponsors. Many will be on hand to demonstrate their commitment to the PD community, the APDA said.

Registration is free and open to all. Participants are encouraged to form teams, fundraise, and spread awareness leading up to the walk. To register, or to learn more about how to get involved, visit or call 757-495-3062.

The APDA Virginia Chapter offers a wide range of Parkinson’s disease programs, resources, education, and support. To learn more, visit, email or call 757-495-3062.

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