Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Walking to Cure Brain Disease

17th Annual Awareness & Memorial Walk Raises Money for Neurodegeneration Nonprofit

The SW Florida Support Group (For all affected by PSP, CBD, and MSA) are launching their 17th annual CurePSP Awareness and Memorial Walk, on Saturday, March 21st, at Mackle Park, Marco Island. This less than one-mile walk attracts people from around the country who have been touched in some way by progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), and related prime of life brain diseases. The walk honors those suffering and remembers those who have passed from these fatal and incurable brain diseases. This event further supports CurePSP, the leading organization for these diseases, by raising vital resources to fund research for treatment and cure.

Founded in 2004, the walk was first located at the Naples Bath & Tennis Club. In 2011, management of the walk was handed to Cynthia MacDonald and Mitch Kanefsky, co-facilitators of the SW Florida Support Group, local supporter Christina Dean, and their team of dedicated volunteers. The walk was moved to Mackle Park and re-named the CurePSP Awareness and Memorial Walk. 

More than 300 people attend the walk annually, the length of the walk is less than one mile around Mackle Park, and it is wheelchair and family-friendly. Registration begins at 10:30 AM and is $25 for adults and $10 for students, including a t-shirt and lunch. Information on prime of life neurodegeneration will be available, as well as raffles and merchandise. For more information about the 17th Annual CurePSP Awareness and Memorial Walk please contact Cindy MacDonald at 239-353-3960, hotrdh@hotmail.com.

“The response of the attendees and the stories they tell of the journeys they take with their loved ones are what motivate us,” Cynthia explained. “Participants come from Florida, out of state, and from Canada. We don’t just raise funds; we are trying to extend awareness. This event has strengthened our community and we have made many lifelong friends.” 

PSP, CBD, and MSA all fall within the spectrum of the prime of life brain diseases, which affect 150,000 people in the U.S. alone. These diseases often strike people in the prime of their life, when they have active family, social and work lives, and who are often active members of the community. Currently, there are no treatments or cure for these diseases, which are fatal and cause crushing emotional and financial burdens upon patients, family and friends. Typical progression of PSP is about 7 years—early symptoms include vision, balance and mobility problems, and as they progress the sufferers require permanent care. 

The SW Florida Support Group (For all affected by PSP, CBD, and MSA) meet on the second Sunday of each month from 2 – 3:30 PM, at Gardens at Terracina Health & Rehabilitation, 6869 David Blvd, Naples, FL 34104.

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