US Army First Lieutenant Ashley Murray, a Piscataway, NJ, native, is running, biking and swimming to fight for a future without Parkinson’s disease. First Lt. Murray, an Afghanistan veteran who is currently stationed in Germany, will complete the Ergo IRONMAN 70.3 Luxembourg triathlon on Saturday, June 20 to raise funds for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF).
First Lt. Murray, 25, is no stranger to physically challenging endeavors, having also been a member of Army ten-miler teams. Now, she is taking on the unique challenges of the IRONMAN as a way to contribute to the Parkinson’s cause. While 70.3 miles might be challenge enough for some, for First Lt. Murray it is just one of many she will face to help the Parkinson’s cause – with the next being medical school. First Lt. Murray has hopes of joining the medical profession as a neurologist in order to care for people living with Parkinson’s, a neurological disease, which she notes, has no cure and affects seven to 10 million people worldwide.
“I’m racing for PDF to show how passionate I am about helping people who live with Parkinson’s. I have always wanted to become a neurologist and am applying to medical school this year,” says First Lt. Murray. “I have competed in several endurance challenges, but after I came across an article on Parkinson's disease that led me to PDF’s website, I knew I wanted to dedicate a race to this cause.”
Working with the PDF Champions program, the grassroots fundraising arm of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, First Lt. Murray hopes to exceed her $2,000 fundraising goal. She says she is already more than halfway there thanks to the support of family and friends back home.
PDF President Robin Elliott added, “At PDF, we are grateful for PDF Champions like First Lt. Murray who are dedicated to funding the most promising research and raising awareness about the impact of Parkinson’s. Her efforts will help PDF to improve the lives and futures of the nearly one million people across the country living with Parkinson’s.”