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Victory Summit in Birmingham Brings Together Parkinson’s Experts and People Living With Parkinson’s for Day of Information and Inspiration

Alabama Resident to Be Honored as “Local Hero” for Outstanding Achievements

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 25, 2009 – The Davis Phinney Foundation and Parkinson’s Association of Alabama will host a Victory Summit on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at the Birmingham Marriot as part of a national series of symposia created by the Davis Phinney Foundation to highlight the latest medical research and to discuss quality of life improvements for people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Victory Summit will feature presentations and panel discussions on the latest PD advances in key areas, including exercise, speech and music therapy as well as the development of translational pathways in PD research.

In addition, a special “Local Hero” award will be given to Alabama resident Carol Meenen in recognition of her outstanding passion, pride and contributions as a Parkinson’s disease (PD) advocate and mentor. Meenen has been an inspiration for many people in the Alabama Parkinson’s community, including serving in her current role as Alabama co-coordinator for the Parkinson’s Action Network where she provides emotional and educational support as senior advisor for the newly diagnosed. She also is involved in many fundraisers and recently created a CD with songs created from poems she has written about living with PD.

“Although Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder, it is critical to raise awareness about the great strides research has made in helping people with PD to live better today,” said Amy Howard, Executive Director of the Davis Phinney Foundation. “The Victory Summit provides a valuable forum to inform and inspire people living with PD and to give them the tools to enable increasing ‘moments of victory’ in their daily lives.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Davis Phinney Foundation to bring a wealth of science and inspiration to people living with Parkinson’s disease in Alabama,” Said Ken Cater, President of the Parkinson’s Association of Alabama.

The Victory Summit speakers will include:

  • Ray Watts, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB);
  • Dr. David Standaert, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and director of UAB’s Center for Neurodegeneration & Experimental Therapeutics;
  • Guy Caldwell, Ph.D., and Kim Caldwell, Ph.D., associate professors in the department of biological sciences at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa;
  • Matt Ford, PT, Ph.D., assistant professor, physical therapy at UAB;
  • Davis Phinney, cycling legend and Parkinson’s disease quality of life advocate; and UAB instructor and Schumann Fellow of Neurology Harrison Walker, M.D., who will moderate “The DBS Experience: A Patient Perspective panel”.

Additional Victory Summit information and registration is available online at www.davisphinneyfoundation.org or by contacting the Parkinson Association of Alabama by phone at (205) 444-0047 / (877) 977-7275.

Parkinson’s Disease
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.

Davis Phinney Foundation
The Davis Phinney Foundation (DPF), was created in 2004 by former Tour de France cyclist and Olympic Bronze medalist Davis Phinney. The DPF funds innovative and progressive research focused on exercise, speech and other quality of life therapies, hosts a series of symposia that present research and programs that demonstrate the benefits of these therapies and encourages those impacted by the disease to celebrate the daily victories in their lives.

The Foundation’s “Local Heroes” program recognizes people living with Parkinson’s disease who are determined to celebrate moments of victory in their lives and inspire others in their communities. To nominate a local hero, visit www.davisphinneyfoundation.org.

Parkinson’s Association of Alabama
The Parkinson’s Association of Alabama provides support for patients, caregivers and families of those with Parkinson’s disease. The organization helps to establish local support groups throughout the state, funds clinical and basic science research and provides durable goods and medications to patients with financial needs.

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