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Lea Dempsey, Seventh Grader from NJ, Designs Winning Parkinson’s Awareness T-Shirt

A digital drawing by 13-year-old Lea Dempsey of Princeton, NJ, came out on top in the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s (PDF) Seventh Annual Parkinson’s Awareness T-Shirt Design Contest. In PDF’s “kids only” contest, Ms. Dempsey’s design was a contender along with 20 other submissions from children ages five to 15-years-old. Her design was chosen as the winner by the general public in an online vote.

Ms. Dempsey’s design, “Join the team ending Parkinson’s,” features two people holding hands with PDF’s yellow tulip wrapped around them. She was inspired to enter the contest to honor her late grandfather Elwood Dempsey, who lived with Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade. Mr. Dempsey was a union painter by trade who also enjoyed painting recreationally.

“My grandfather was the kind of person that would always help someone in need. He was a very artistic man and I got my inspiration from him. I think he would be proud. This is the first time I’m putting my art out there and I’m proud to see my design help raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease,” says Ms. Dempsey.

A committee including members of the PDF Creativity and Parkinson’s Project (all artists living with Parkinson’s) selected her design as one of five finalists. It is now featured on PDF’s official 2016 Parkinson’s awareness t-shirt, which will be worn by thousands of people around the country to raise awareness, especially during April’s Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

“Lea grew up watching her grandfather’s Parkinson’s progress, and like the rest of us, there were times she felt powerless to help him.  She was the one person who always had the ability to make him smile. Knowing that Lea has contributed to PDF’s efforts to help other people who bear the weight of Parkinson’s has not only uplifted her, it has uplifted the entire Dempsey family,” says Lea’s mother, Kathleen Pagnutti.

“The diverse members of the PDF team all share one thing – a commitment to ending Parkinson’s.  Through her design, Ms. Dempsey illustrates this commitment beautifully, reminding us that children and young adults are very important members of this team,” said Robin Anthony Elliott, President of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. “This April, we call upon others to be inspired by Lea’s example: to use our free tools to raise awareness locally and help PDF end Parkinson’s disease.”

About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US.  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s.

Thursday, March 24, 2016
In Memory of Robert Traurig
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Parkinson’s Foundation mourns the loss of emeritus board member Robert (Bob) Traurig. From 2004 to 2015, he was a member of the Foundation’s board of directors. Bob is survived by his wife Jacqueline, his daughters Madeline Sackel and Wendy Traurig.

New Study Shows 1.2 Million People in the United States Estimated to be Living with Parkinson’s Disease by 2030
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Parkinson’s Foundation Reveals Most Comprehensive Estimate of
Parkinson’s Prevalence in North America since the 1970’s

Parkinson’s Foundation Elects Howard D. Morgan Chairman of the Board
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

MIAMI & NEW YORK — June 26, 2018 — The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the election of Howard D. Morgan as chairman of its board of directors. Mr. Morgan, who previously served as the Vice Chair of the nonprofit organization’s board, is a Partner and the Senior Managing Director of Argand Partners in New York.

Parkinson’s Foundation Announces Five New Members of its People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

NEW YORK & MIAMI — June 13, 2018 — The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced five new members of its People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council.

The Parkinson’s Foundation 2018 Gala in New York City Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Monday, May 14, 2018

The Parkinson’s Foundation 2018 Gala was held at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York City on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

Parkinson’s Foundation Adds Alison Herman to its Board of Directors
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

MIAMI – May 9, 2018 – The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the election of Alison Herman to its board of directors. Herman is senior counsel at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, a company which has generously supported Parkinson’s Foundation fundraisers.

Statement on Nuplazid Drug
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

On 4/9/18, CNN published an article on the FDA-approved drug, Nuplazid, used to treat hallucinations and psychosis in Parkinson’s disease. The article investigates FDA data showing the number of reported deaths with people taking Nuplazid. Nuplazid was approved by the FDA in 2016 and is manufactured by Acadia Pharmaceuticals.

Parkinson’s Foundation Adds John D. Thomopoulos to its Board of Directors
Monday, March 19, 2018

MIAMI & NEW YORK – March 19, 2018 – The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced the election of John D. Thomopoulos to its board of directors. Thomopoulos is a partner at Ernst & Young.

In Memory of Edythe Kay Marsa
Monday, March 12, 2018

The Parkinson’s Foundation mourns the loss of emeritus board member, Edythe (Edy) Kay Marsa. From 1993 to 2014, she was a member of the Foundation’s board of directors and served on several committees. Edy is survived by her husband William Marsa, who founded the Herbert Kay Parkinson Chapter in honor of her first husband who passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s Foundation Announces New Genetic Initiative Connecting Parkinson’s Genetic Data with Clinical Care
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

MIAMI & NEW YORK—March 6, 2018—The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced a new initiative offering genetic testing and counseling to Parkinson’s patients within its Center of Excellence network.

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