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Parkinson’s Foundation New Centers of Excellence

July 25, 2018 – The Parkinson’s Foundation designated three new Centers of Excellence yesterday  expanding their care network to 45 centers, worldwide.   These exceptional centers currently treat 127,000 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Twenty-three of the Centers are participating in the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s.   A center can only receive this sought after status by meeting the highest levels of care, research, education and outreach standards.

So far, our Terranova family has collectively given and raised over one million dollars for the Parkinson’s Foundation.  We desperately wish it were more, and it will be as we keep donating and raising more each year.  Bringing attention to this cruel disease gets more people focused on better treatment and engaging in the search for a cure.   It’s just not enough, and not nearly too soon.

Many of you know that our Terranova President, Mindy McIlroy got that awful call with her PD diagnosis, just over 4 years ago.  It’s a day I will never forget.   Mindy fights through stiffness and fatigue every day with a remarkable sunny disposition and positive attitude.  While others might have taken a step back in life, Mindy fights forward, not giving anything up in her professional life as she continues to take on more responsibility, and growing the richness of her personal life as well, continuing to travel, garden, and be a passionate advocate on the Parkinson’s Foundation board.

Continuing to give to help someone that has played such a material role in our lives, both personally and professionally, seems so meager compared to her fight.  This battle is personal to every one of us who know and love her, and it is the selfishly personal reason we have taken this effort so seriously.   For my birthday last week, I posted a Facebook fundraiser, generating almost seven thousand new dollars from 77 donors, some whom I have never met.   The longer our PD experience goes, it seems that everyone has a friend or relative facing the same prognosis, including several relatives of our Terranova family.

When we made the commitment to fund the Centers of Excellence designations at three Cleveland Clinics:  Dubai, Weston, and Las Vegas as well as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Medical University of South Carolina, we sent the money in a single payment versus the more typical multiyear funding. We also committed to keep raising money with a goal of finding another million dollars to make an even bigger difference.  So, you can help today by clicking on the link right here.

If you have a friend or family member that needs another opinion or a different level of care or information, call 1-800-4PD-INFO, because that is why we are in this fight, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  Together we can and will improve treatment and find a cure, but only together. I have asked and cajoled and begged and thanked so many of you for all you have done to help, and I so wish I could tell you we have a cure and it was enough, but we are just not there yet.  So once again, I am asking from the bottom of my heart for you love and help to join all of us at Terranova in making a difference.

Stephen Bittel