*New VIRTUAL Walks Added*

 Thousands Band Together Across the Country to Help People with Parkinson’s Live Life to the Fullest

 NEW YORK, NY, May 7, 2020 – The American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA) officially announces the full schedule for the 2020 APDA Optimism Walks — a nationwide movement to mobilize and inspire people to step up and help put an end to Parkinson’s disease (PD). This year, the calendar includes new virtual events as well as in-person events to be held later in the year. With 18 events across the country, the Optimism Walk series brings thousands of participants together to support APDA’s mission to help every person impacted by PD live life to the fullest. With one million people living with PD in the United States and more being diagnosed every day, it is more important than ever to raise essential funds and awareness. Whether participating virtually or in-person, each and every participant is helping to make a difference for those living with the disease today and to push for answers that will ultimately make PD a thing of the past.

The 2020 Optimism Walk season kicks-off with four virtual Optimism Walks taking place

With new virtual Optimism Walks, participants head out on their own, but are united in spirit from coast to coast!

simultaneously on Saturday, May 31, 2020. Virtual Optimism Walks on the East Coast (based out of Massachusetts and Vermont) will be happening in conjunction with Optimism Walks on the West Coast (California and Washington). After an online celebration and opening ceremony, participants in all four events will walk separately, but together in solidarity for the PD community. Due to social distancing, participants will be encouraged walk on their own and share photos and comments using #OptimismWalk so together they can still be uplifted by a great sense of community and camaraderie.

In-person Optimism Walks are scheduled from August through October taking place in cities across the country including (but not limited to) Virginia Beach, VA; St. Louis, MO; Madison, WIWarwick, RIChicago, IL; Westport, CT; Long Island, NY and more! The full schedule is available here.

Each in-person APDA Optimism Walk is a family-friendly fundraising event that offers a non-competitive walk (between 1-3 miles, distance varies by location), music, educational opportunities, giveaways, fun activities, and more.

Whether virtual or in-person, the Optimism Walk is an important opportunity for friends, families, and

individuals who are affected by PD to come together and show support, share stories, get a little exercise, and feel inspired and motivated.  It’s an important chance to bond with others who are similarly connected.

“Not only do the Optimism Walks bring together friends, family and even strangers who are all in this fight together, but the funds raised at each Optimism Walk help APDA provide much-needed support groups and exercise classes designed specifically for people with PD, which includes a wide array of virtual programming we’ve adapted and created to keep people supported , engaged and informed while they need to stay at home” said APDA President & CEO, Leslie A. Chambers.

Family fun while raising funds and awareness! Walkers pose for a photo at a 2019 Optimism Walk!

Chambers continues, “access to the right information and support is key to living your best life, and that’s true for the person living with PD as well as care partners, friends and family. APDA is the largest grassroots network serving people with PD and their families. The more funds we raise at each Optimism Walk, the more people we can help every day.”

Each Optimism Walk is a positive way to take the frustration and challenges of life with PD and turn that into motivation, determination and purpose. Participants share stories – both virtually and in person — bond over their shared experiences and revel in the camaraderie that often lasts long after the Walk is over.

Corporate partners Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Lundbeck and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals have joined as National Sponsors of the full Optimism Walk 2020 event series. Neurocrine Biosciences has joined as a national sponsor of the Virtual Optimism Walks. Representatives from these companies will participate in the virtual Optimism Walks and also be on hand at many of the in-person events to meet members of the PD community and demonstrate their special commitment to helping people with PD, families and care partners as they work tirelessly to bring innovative solutions to those living with this disease. Their generous support is critical to the success of our mission.

For a full list of events and dates, visit the Optimism Walk section of the APDA website.

About the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA)
The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is the largest grassroots network dedicated to fighting Parkinson’s disease (PD) and works tirelessly to help the more than 1 million people in the US with PD live life to the fullest in the face of this chronic, neurological disorder. Founded in 1961, APDA has raised and invested more than $207 million to provide outstanding patient services and educational programs, elevate public awareness about the disease, and support research designed to unlock the mysteries of PD and ultimately put an end to this disease. To join us in the fight against Parkinson’s disease and to learn more about the support APDA provides nationally through our network of Chapters and Information & Referral (I&R) Centers, as well as our national Research Program and Centers for Advanced Research, please visit us at

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