PORTLAND—The Brian Grant Foundation (BGF) is forming the first-ever Portland to Coast Relay Team made up of a diverse group of people living with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones. Parkinson’s disease is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, impacting over 10 million people of all ages, backgrounds, and identities. BGF is determined to show the diversity in the Parkinson’s community and to share the stories and voices of those who are living with this disease but are often underrepresented in research and advocacy.
In a true feat of endurance, perseverance, and mind over matter, 12 walkers will be trekking 130 miles from Portland to Seaside on August 26 and 27, 2022. Six of the walkers have Parkinson’s disease, a movement disorder that impacts balance and coordination, causes slowness of movement, muscle stiffness, and tremors. These walkers include women, people of color, single parents, and people with young onset Parkinson’s disease. The other six team members are care partners, loved ones or advocates. The team will be led by BGF’s founder and former NBA icon, Brian Grant.
“Living with Parkinson’s brings a variety of challenges but many people don’t really understand the disease,” says Brian. “I’m excited to be a part of a team working together to increase awareness of Parkinson’s and help break down the stereotypes associated with the disease.”
The journey will be documented through video to help raise awareness of the broad impact of Parkinson’s disease. Walkers and care partners will also be featured in the second season of BGF’s podcast, On Time: A Parkinson’s Podcast, airing in fall 2022.
“Thanks to the many people who support our programs, we’ll be sharing this experience every step of the way,” says Katrina Kahl, Executive Director at the Brian Grant Foundation. “We want people to see that the Parkinson’s community includes women, people of color, single parents, young people and LGBTQ+ folks. It’s important that their voices and stories are told, too.”
Learn more about this project and sponsor the walkers by visiting briangrant.org/ptc.