For Noblesville resident Addie Cunningham, she views it a privilege to serve people with Parkinson’s disease through her role as the Indiana Parkinson Foundation program director.
“The passion and fire inside me to support those with Parkinson’s disease started after my dad’s (Noblesville resident Don Waterman) diagnosis in 2008,” said Cunningham, whose family founded the nonprofit. “I have learned so much about the disease, how it affects not only the person with the disease, but also the family. Parkinson’s is a very debilitating and isolating disease and can leave the person with Parkinson’s and their family feeling very alone and helpless. That is why the Indiana Parkinson Foundation exists.
“Our mission is to come alongside those with Parkinson’s disease and their families and provide valuable programs and services to improve their lives physically, mentally and spiritually. Communities of hope are created at IPF, and God is in the center of it all.”
Cunningham said the IPF’s Choose to Move Race to Beat Parkinson’s was started in 2013 to expand outreach and awareness to support those living with Parkinson’s disease.
The 10th annual Choose to Move run/walk is set for 9:15 a.m. April 23 at Witten Park, 13256 Saxony Blvd., Fishers. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and Choose to Move is IPF’s largest event and fundraiser. Strollers and pets are welcome.
“We are anticipating our biggest Choose to Move yet,” Cunningham said.
Choose to Move offers distances of 10K, 5K and 1 mile, with in-person and virtual options. The virtual race is designed for those who want to run/walk to support but can’t attend in-person. Cunningham said the T-shirt and medal can be mailed and virtual participants can complete the race wherever and whenever they want.
The race was in held in 2021 and 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but a virtual component was added so people could participate from anywhere. The 2020 race was postponed from April to September.
“Choose to Move is an opportunity to support my dad, moving for him, cheering him on. Our family is so thankful for the support and encouragement Choose to Move provides to individuals and their families impacted by Parkinson’s,” Noblesville resident Michelle Eckart said.
Carmel resident Lindsay Williams said the race is always special for families.
“Race day is a day for people who support and love someone battling Parkinson’s and to know that they are not alone,” Williams said. “They are able to see and feel love by the people who show up to run, walk or dance beside them”
To register, visit indianaparkinson.org.