My name is Joan Russo and I'm the organizer of "Run While You Can", a 5K race that's also a fund-raiser for Parkinson's research. With your help, the money we raise will aid us in achieving the ultimate goal—finding a cure. Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It results from the death of dopamine -generating cells in a region of the midbrain; the cause of cell-death is unknown. Parkinson's disease occurs most often in people around 60 years of age, although 5–10% of cases, classified as young onset, begin between the ages of 20 and 50. At this time there is no cure for the disease which is why we desperately need funding for further research.
When I was forty-seven years old, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. I was encouraged by my doctor to push myself physically as this would help my body produce dopamine naturally. I decided to pursue running and believe it has given me greater control over my body. I'm utilizing my interest in running as a means to raise money for research which, I believe, will ultimately help us to find a cure for Parkinson's disease. In conjunction with The Light of Day Foundation (a 501C3 organization), I'm proud to announce the second annual Run While You Can 5K and 1-mile run and walk. It will again take place in Winding River Park, Toms River, and is designed to appeal to all fitness levels.