CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The 2021 Fox Trot is the largest fundraising event in Charleston for Parkinson’s disease.
This is no ordinary 5k race and neither is Parkinson’s. It’s a progressive neurological disease that currently has no cure.
Many people are silently fighting this battle, but events like the Fox Trot created by brave people like George Manahan, make the step to funding research in order to find a cure, possible.
“I was diagnosed 11 years ago and when I was diagnosed I didn’t know anybody with Parkinson’s, so I started looking around to see what services were in this community and there were none, so we started Fox Trot, said George Manahan, Director of Fox Trot.
Manahan says symptoms of Parkinson’s starts off with muscle twitching, dementia, or difficulty speaking, but it takes a different form in each individual it affects. For some, they are suffering in silence.
“For the first two years I had my hand hidden in my pocket,” said Connie Jones, Director of Fox Trot.
“I did it for myself to start off with, and then I found that when we held the first Parkinson’s walk, people would come up to me and say I have what you have. They couldn’t even say the word Parkinson’s. These people were home suffering alone,” said Manahan.
Despite the setbacks of the diagnosis, members of Charleston’s Parkinson’s Support Group like Manahan and Jones have helped to change the way Parkinson’s is looked at in the community and unite people together.
“I couldn’t figure out why God laid Parkinson’s in my lap, but I’m thankful. Not for Parkinson’s, but I’m thankful that I met these people along the way,” said Jones.
“We don’t like the disease, but we love the fact that we’ve met some lifelong friends throughout this journey that we call Parkinson’s,” said Manahan.
Jones believes this event will generate about $100,000 in proceeds to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
“We help each other. We raise money for not just ourselves, but for every person fighting this battle. Every person and it’s near and dear to my heart,” said Jones.
This event is followed by an awards ceremony where participants win prizes and get to go home with hope in their hearts for a cure.