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Appalachian Trail for Parkinson's Disease!

Gretja & Sue Otten

Gretja & Sue Otten

In 2010, my dad Ron was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Over the past decade, we have watched him decline physically but never give up the fight while maintaining the same goofy personality he's always had. His tremors may have gotten more noticeable and he may be slowing down physically, but we would still do anything and everything for our best guy.

So why not set out on a 2,194 mile hiking trip when neither myself nor my mom have ever backpacked a single night before in order to fight for a cure for Parkinson's Disease? The Appalachian Trail spans from Maine to Georgia and it takes the average hiker 6 months to finish. We are starting our journey as a mother-daughter team on July 15th, 2022 and our goal is to be home by Christmas, which gives us just over 5 months to complete the grueling trek.

Only about 20% of people who start the AT actually finish and the average age is 34 years old... I am 26 years old & my mom is 65 years young. About 20,000 people have ever completed the entire trail and less than 5% of these people were 60 years of age or older.

My mom & I are doing this trail together to help find a cure for the awful disease that has rocked our family, and we REFUSE to let PD win. In August, 2021, my dad was sleepwalking (from side effects of his medications), fell and hit his head and had to be rushed to the Emergency Room. Thank goodness he was okay after some stitches (& lots of snacks), but if you have ever had a loved on in the ER, you know exactly how scary that time can be.

Everyone can help end Parkinson’s Disease.

An estimated 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson's today. It is the second most common neurological disorder. In the United States, approximately 60,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. There is no known cure.

Together, we can change this.

Team Fox is the grassroots community fundraising program at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). MJFF accelerates high-impact science through smart risk taking and problem solving with a commitment to urgency and efficiency. I’m one of thousands of people around the globe who are turning their passions into Team Fox fundraisers to help them speed a cure for Parkinson’s. When you give today, 100 percent of Team Fox proceeds goes immediately to MJFF’s programmatic efforts. So, no need to wait until we finish our hike in December.

Thank you for being part of this mother-daughter team!

*To follow along on our journey, visit our YouTube channel:
Appalachian Trail for Parkinson's Disease*


raised of $50,000 goal

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3.7 miles
of 200 mile goal

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101.8 miles
of 200 mile goal

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