By Brenda Erdahl
Every year close to 200 people show up to stomp out Parkinson’s during an annual fundraiser in Maple Lake to help find a cure for the debilitating disease. This year will be no different.
The event takes place on Saturday, April 28, at the V by HH from 3 to 8 p.m. with a dinner, silent auction, and live auction. Dinner includes chicken or prime rib and a kids’ menu for children under 12.
The Henjum and Shanks families started the fundraiser eight years ago to benefit the National Parkinson’s Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation; both families have been deeply affected by the disease. Ed Shanks (now age 69) was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, then family friend, Nancy Henjum (now 49), was also diagnosed. Henjum is the daughter of Mary Henjum, who was an elementary teacher in Maple Lake for 34 years, and Dan Henjum, who was the high school choir director for a number of years.
The causes of Parkinson’s Disease, which affects the central nervous system, are not all known, although genetics and environmental factors may be involved in some cases. The families hope their fundraiser will increase awareness about the disease. Symptoms associated with Parkinson’s include loss of muscle function and dexterity, tremors, memory and speech loss, and a loss of communication between the brain and muscles. Medications can ease the symptoms, but not eliminate them, and many medications have their own side effects.