Member Spotlight: Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s
About Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s:
Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers today. Neuro Challenge provides individualized Care Advising and monthly virtual and community-based education, therapeutic and support programs in Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas, Highlands, Marion and Charlotte counties and beyond. All Neuro Challenge essential services and programs are offered at no cost to people with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones.
For more information visit www.NeuroChallenge.org.
Q&A with Traci Willingham, Marketing and Communications Manager
Q: Tell me about what problem this program/service solves?
A: Since 2008, Neuro Challenge Foundation has been dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. Our Better Approach to Parkinson’s includes Individualized care advising is provided and ongoing virtual and community-based programs are offered year-round. We help to connect people with Parkinson’s, their caregivers and family members with a caring and supportive community.
Q: Can you tell me about a specific person who has used this program?
A: My friend Marion has participated in many programs over the years. One of her favorites is the Joyful Movement through Parkinson’s class in partnership with the Sarasota Ballet. This free program has helped her continue her love of dancing throughout journey with Parkinson’s.
Q: Now that they have gone through this program, what is their life like?
A: She has connected with others that have similar interests and has created a community of support among her friends and neighbors. This class has not only helped her continue to exercise, but it also has helped to bring her community together.
Q: What attracted you to this cause?
A: I have always enjoyed helping others and giving back to my community. I am proud to be part of a local organization whose funds that are raised locally, stay within the local service area.
Q: How has this changed you personally?
A: For me personally, hearing from members of the Parkinson’s community has given me motivation to face my own struggles and appreciate each day as it comes. They inspire me daily.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you are facing?
A: Being out in the communities, working with partners at their locations, and bringing services out to the people we represent can be challenging post pandemic. We have been able to adapt and move some programs online and create new programs but we still face the challenge of getting the newly diagnosed people with Parkinson’s to learn about our services and attend our programs.
Q: What do you think other people should know about this organization?
A: Neuro Challenge supports people with Parkinson’s, their Caregivers, and family members around the world. Today, more resources and opportunities are available for people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers than ever before. The key, however, is not only finding them but also knowing which to choose and then ensuring they all work together. This can be overwhelming, but it’s important to know you are not alone on your Parkinson’s journey. Neuro Challenge Care Advisors offer free individualized guidance to people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. All programs and services including Care Advising are available at no charge to the Parkinson’s community.
Q: What goals do you have for the organization?
A: My goal is to make Neuro Challenge Foundation the one stop shop to support people with Parkinson’s on their journey. By continuing to offer high quality educational, therapeutic and support programs we will empower the Parkinson’s community to take control of their daily lives and live better today.
Q: Upcoming special events?
A: The annual Parkinson’s Expo is on March 25th 2023. Neuro Challenge Foundation’s signature annually held, day-long event created to educate, engage and empower the Parkinson’s community. The Expo features several presenters who are nationally renowned Parkinson’s experts, demonstrations of Parkinson’s exercises/devices, and meeting community partners. More than 1,800 people participated in The Parkinson’s Expo in 2022 making it the largest event of its kind in the country. Register at www.ParkinsonsExpo.org.
April 1st-30th – “Paint the Town Orange” in honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Neuro Challenge hosts a Paint the Town Orange campaign to spread the word about the organization, programs, and Parkinson’s Disease, during Parkinson’s Awareness Month. For more information visit www.NeuroChallenge.org.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with me?
A: All Neuro Challenge programs and services are provided at no charge. This is possible thanks to the many partners and generous donors in the communities we serve. Neuro Challenge allows our donors to directly support the Parkinson’s community by investing in high-impact programs and services. Donate today at www.NeuroChallenge.org.