POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — More than 500 people in Powell laced up their sneakers and walked together to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease around the community Sunday.
Jessica Krauser was one of the organizers of the event. Krauser was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years ago – she was 37 at the time, making her a young-onset case.
Now she hopes to be the voice and face for others out there, which is what motivated her to create her first walk, the 5K for JK.
Krauser wants to stress the importance of staying active.
“Exercise really helps slow down the progression because you’re retraining your brain,” she said of the disease.
Krauser makes it a priority to walk every morning, saying she does it for herself, her children, and her family, thanks to an incredible support system.
Sunday’s walk brought in nearly $90,000, all of which will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
“What we’re looking for with fundraisers is sometimes treatments beyond that (exercise),” said Dr. Andrea Malone, a neurologist with OhioHealth. “Maybe gene therapy or other types of medication that may neuroprotect someone.”
Parkinson’s progressively attacks the central nervous system, often first manifesting as barely noticeable tremors in a hand, but can progress to include slow movement, stiffness, and loss of balance. Medication can help treat the disease, but there is currently no cure.
Krauser said not everyone living with the disease experiences the same symptoms, with some experiencing more visible symptoms than others.
To learn more about Krauser’s efforts, visit 5kforjk.org.