Team Parkinson at the Los Angeles Marathon 2009 - 06/01/2009

Team Parkinson at the Los Angeles Marathon 2009 was dedicated in loving memory to Kevin Adams, who last year ran the marathon despite Parkinson’s disease and a cancer diagnosis.  We lost Kevin just six weeks later, but he impressed us all with his spirit and determination. That spirit was more than evident in every way during this year’s event.

The weekend started at the Expo and in our booth we got to see old friends and meet new ones as TP athletes came by to pick up their t-shirts. A special thanks to Celeste Bocian, who was on hand representing Solvay Pharmaceuticals, our premier event sponsor. Invaluable help, as always, was provided by Kippi Stolz, both in setting up and staffing the booth. And Doug and Mimi Macglashan once again took the final shift and closed things down, as we all headed to our carbo load dinner at Taix French Restaurant.

The carbo dinner served as a pre-race pep rally and the evening was wonderful, with about 80 people in attendance. Justine Lassoff, TP dinner coordinator did another excellent job in making the evening flawless. And thanks to Norm Reeves Honda Superstore, our dinner was fully sponsored. Mary Kay and Jerry Woudenberg staffed the registration table. Carol Walton, of The Parkinson Alliance, spoke a little about the Unity Walk in NY and the recently held DBS Consensus Meeting. John Ball served as emcee for the evening. Lisa Adams talked bravely and so beautifully about Kevin and what Team Parkinson and last year’s marathon meant to him. Dr. Michael Jakowec of USC spoke about PD research he’s conducting and explained how your donated dollars work. May May Ali read a delightful poem she composed about John, winner of this year’s Alan Bonander Award at the Unity Walk. Edna Ball thanked some key people who made the weekend so successful. One of those was Matthew Chezum, TP’s volunteer photographer, who was presented with a lovely award. Lastly, we announced a tie for top fundraising honors for Team Ackerberg (consisting of team leader Lisette Ackerberg) and The Dynamic Duo (Debbie Jew and Jessica Chadbourn). It really was a terrific evening and everyone left excited and ready for race day!

Because of the date change by the marathon, we were a bit worried about participation and the weather. But it turned out to be a terrific weekend for Team Parkinson! The weather was especially kind, staying cool, cloudy and breezy for the entire morning of race day. We had about 85 athletes total. Three of the 22 marathoners, John Ball, Gary Miller and Willard Krick, have Parkinson’s disease and completed the entire 26.2-mile course! And six of our 60 5K participants ran or walked with Parkinson’s as well…Lisette Ackerberg, Dan Kiefer, Al Rosenheck, Eddie Schindler, Sandy Webb and Jerry Woudenberg. In the bike tour, Debbie Jew of The Dynamic Duo tandem team has PD and was out there for the 5am start in the dark! Congratulations to all for having the courage and determination to get moving despite the PD. You are all a shining example of what’s possible.

To date we are over $110,000 raised! Thanks to everyone for all the hard work training, fundraising and cheering as we get closer to a cure. Next up….the San Francisco Marathon, July 26th!

View photos from the 2009 LA Marathon.