By Bobby Pepper/Lee County Neighbors
Raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease has become a personal mission for Kaitlyn Kinsey.
Kinsey, a Tupelo High School senior, has organized a walk scheduled for Saturday, March 26, at Tupelo’s Fairpark to raise money for Parkinson’s research. The event – “Steps to a Cure” – will be in honor of her late father, Jerry Kinsey, others who’ve died of Parkinson’s and people who have the neurological disease.
Jerry Kinsey was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2000 and died eight years later.
“He was not able to speak, walk, eat, and eventually he wasn’t able to see the world around him,” Kinsey said. “Every bit of life he had was taken away from him, but he never stopped fighting, and he lived as long as he could.”
The walk begins at 9 a.m. Participants can sign up starting at 8 a.m., or they can pre-register online at: https://sites.google .com/site/parkinsonsawarenesswalk.
The registration fee is $25, which includes a T-shirt. Snacks and door prizes will be available. In addition to organizing the walk, Kinsey designed the T-shirt and will provide entertainment along with Tracy Taylor. People attending the walk are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
Proceeds will go to two groups working to find a cure for Parkinson’s – the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.The walk is Kinsey’s THS senior culmination project.
Being a part of a Parkinson’s support group in Tupelo put her in contact with family members of other Parkinson’s patients, Kinsey said.
“I have become a part of a group of very special people I hold close to my heart,” she said. “Although I no longer have anyone with the disease, being part of the group inspired me to want to do something to change lives and help find a cure.”
For more information, call 397-8531 or 767-8597 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This event means a lot to me and I really want to make a difference,” said Kinsey, who will attend Mississippi University for Women with future plans of becoming a nurse. “The experience with my father definitely influenced my decision to go into nursing.”