11/05/06 — Walking to beat Parkinson's

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Walking to beat Parkinson's

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Published in News on November 5, 2006 10:31 AM

PIKEVILLE -- Dana Lewis will never forget the painful memory of watching her mother, Pat Darden, die slowly from Parkinson's disease.

She believes no one should have to suffer from this crippling affliction, so she helped organize a memory walk to spread the word and raise money that will be used to help search for a cure.

Roughly 200 people braved the frigid temperatures to participate in the second annual Pat Darden Memorial Walk for Parkinson's Saturday at Charles B. Aycock High School. The fundraiser was held in honor of Ms. Lewis' mother and the late Winston Davis. The event also was held in honor of Jimmie Thorne, who is still battling the disease.

The Memorial Walk was sponsored by the Parkinson's Committee, which is comprised of five people including Lewis, Michelle Lane, Terry Barnes, Jimmie Thorne and his wife, Jean Thorne.

"I've always known Pat. Our kids went to school together," Mrs. Thorne said. "My husband also has the disease. I'm hoping that by us starting this, it will help to make people more aware. We want to start a larger group walk, maybe even with everyone who lives east of I-95."

The amount raised was unavailable at press time, but Ms. Lewis said she hopes the proceeds will exceed last year's total, which was more than $20,000.

Several businesses lent their support, including Eastern Medical Associates and Andy's restaurants. There also were bake sales and Parkinson's merchandise for sale. Supporters could even throw somebody in the "Pen for Parkinson's." Those who were "jailed" could not be set free until someone posted their $3 bail.

Entertainment was provided from various organizations including Aycock's Show Choir dancers. Katherine Hinnant, a Charles B. Aycock student who raised $700 for the walk last year, and Michelle Lane, president of the Parkinson's Committee in Louisiana, served as guest speakers.