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The Victory Summit® Western New York Gets the Parkinson’s Community Moving

Exercise and Local Hero Award to Highlight Day of Education and Inspiration

ROCHESTER, NY, April 9, 2013 – People affected by Parkinson’s disease have an exciting opportunity to learn from leading national and local experts about ways to live well with Parkinson’s disease at the Davis Phinney Foundation The Victory Summit symposium to be held on Saturday, May 18, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at the Radisson Rochester Riverside Hotel. The Victory Summit is free to the public.

The Victory Summit Western New York is presented by the Davis Phinney Foundation in partnership with University at Buffalo Neurosurgery, University of Rochester Medical Center and National Parkinson Foundation Chapters of Greater Rochester and Western New York.

“We are thrilled to be working with the local Parkinson community to bring The Victory Summit symposium to New York,” said Polly Dawkins, Executive Director of the Davis Phinney Foundation. “People tell us that spending a day at The Victory Summit is moving. Moving because we get up and dance, we stretch, and we laugh. Moving because we spend the day connecting with others who face the challenges of Parkinson’s. At The Victory Summit, we aim to inspire, educate and empower all attendees to celebrate. This is truly not an event to miss.”

During The Victory Summit, several movement disorder experts will share their perspectives on the latest research and treatment options. In addition, participants can enhance their daily living with several interactive sessions and break-out panels on topics such as: exercise, Deep Brain Stimulation therapy, Parkinson’s and relationships, Young-Onset Parkinson’s, care for the care partner and more.

“The Victory Summit is a fantastic opportunity to share the many ways in which individuals with Parkinson’s can alter the course of their own disease,” said Michelle Burack, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Pediatrics and Deep Brain Stimulation Program Director at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Things like daily physical activity, paying attention to mental well-being, and maintaining social connectedness are powerful ‘medicine’ for the brain, and are vital components of optimum management for this chronic condition.”

“Research increasingly demonstrates that people living with Parkinson’s have better outcomes by actively taking control of their disease, and The Victory Summit is a valuable opportunity to help people with Parkinson’s and their care partners to make positive lifestyle changes that can immediately impact their quality of life,” said Robert Plunkett, M.D., Surgical Director of the Comprehensive Movement Disorders Center and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at University at Buffalo Neurosurgery.

During The Victory Summit, the Davis Phinney Foundation also will present a “Local Hero” Award to Buffalo residents Tom O’Donnell and Rick Lipka. Affectionately known as “Batman and Robin” in the Parkinson’s community, their contributions to families affected by Parkinson’s have been nothing less than superheroic. The dynamic duo forged a friendship after Tom, who was diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s in 1988 at the age of 26, met Rick following Rick’s own diagnosis and attendance at a support group meeting. Both have since worked together tirelessly to organize fundraisers and events to inform and motivate the Parkinson’s community. Tom co-founded the National Parkinson Foundation of Western New York, where Rick has served as President and Tom as Vice President, and Tom helped to start a local support group, which has grown from 18 members to a mailing list of more than 1,000 people. The friends share personal experience and inspiration in making house calls to people struggling with their diagnosis.

Additional information and registration information for the Victory Summit is available online at www.davisphinneyfoundation.org.

The Victory Summit®
The Victory Summit is a traveling symposia series that brings nationally recognized movement disorder researchers, clinicians, and physical therapists into the local community for a day of Parkinson’s information and inspiration. More than 9,500 people have attended a Victory Summit to date, and a schedule of upcoming Victory Summit events is available on the Foundation’s web site.

Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. An estimated 1.5 million Americans are living with Parkinson’s disease today. The disease affects men and women alike, and its frequency is considerably higher in the over-60 age group, although there is an alarming increase of patients of younger age. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms.

Davis Phinney Foundation
The Davis Phinney Foundation was founded in 2004 by cycling legend Davis Phinney and is dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s disease live well today. The Foundation’s major initiatives include: The Every Victory Counts® manual, developed by movement disorder experts to encourage living well with Parkinson’s; The Victory Summit series of symposia, which bring leading experts into local communities to share the latest advances in science, care and inspire those affected by the disease to celebrate the daily victories in their lives; The Living Well ChallengeTM an educational webinar series; and the funding of research focused on exercise, speech and other quality of life therapies.

Media Contact:
Wendy Emanuel

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