By Elizabeth Clinch
On Sept. 8, the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute will host the 15th annual Sunflower Rev It Up For Parkinson’s Run/Walk/Ride at Yeatman’s Cove — attracting hundreds of walkers, cyclists and runners all coming together to raise funds for Parkinson’s disease research and patient education.
Approximately 42 million Americans suffer from some form of movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.
New this year is a 30K and 60K bike ride as well as the popular 5K walk/run and 3K family walk.
Nearly a million dollars has been raised that has allowed the UC Gardner Center to expand basic and clinical research as well as provide patient education.
Last year’s proceeds continued to support existing and pilot research, the annual free patient and caregiver symposium that provides valuable patient-focused information and support to over 700 patients annually. It also provided backing to train future neurologists.
In addition to supporting extensive research and programming for movement disorder patients, participants say that the walk gives Parkinson’s patients and supporters the opportunity to connect and bond with each other in a fun, uplifting atmosphere.
“It gives you strength when you feel like you are not alone,” said Juli Wilmers, team captain of Wilmers’ Warriors. Wilmer’s husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease six years ago. “Having our family and friends support us in this made so much difference. Now we have a community that supports us and we support them.”
Wilmers says that Sunflower Rev It Up For Parkinson’s has made a huge impact on her family.
“Parkinson’s is a hidden disease, for a while. People don’t see what the patient goes through— it is something you have to live with every day. Sunflower is a time for the patients to be recognized for what they go through every day. It’s my husband’s favorite day.”
The event will also feature live music, local food and craft beer.
The 60K Bike ride begins at 7:15 a.m., with the 30K bike ride following at 8:15 a.m. and the family bike ride at 8:45 a.m. The 5K walk begins at 9 a.m. and the 3K walk begins shortly after at 9:05 a.m.
To register, visit sunflowerrev.org. Early bird registration ends Sunday, Aug. 25.