~Who We Are~
MOVERS & SHAKERS is a grassroots support organization for those dealing with Parkinson's and other movement disorders.
(Parkinson Plus Diseases, Multiple Systems Atrophy)
The concept of MOVERS & SHAKERS is one of outreach and support. It was founded in 2003, by 2 people with Young Onset Parkinson Disease. Michael J. Church and Gretchen Garie.
Both founders share in the trials & tribulations of dealing with PD at a time in their lives when they were still trying to get it all together. Both are raising children, with all of the activities surrounding them.They had careers... and had to say good bye to them and fight social security for benefits. They understand what it is means to battle daily with the limitations that PD places on them.
It is the concern of this organization that there are young people diagnosed with Parkinson's that deal daily with the fear of losing their jobs, their families and even their quality of life.
It is our concern that anyone dealing with Parkinson's Disease get the proper support, care & education to improve the quality of their lives.
Too many young people worldwide are diagnosed every day with this disease and end up falling through the cracks of a bureaucratic system that is ill-equipped to provide for them.
MOVERS & SHAKERS in cooperation with other local and national organizations reach out to the Parkinson's community to provide support, education, and awareness, not only to the person living with PD and their families, but to also bring the same concepts to their communities, medical practioners, and legislators.
Michael Church & Gretchen Garie-Church:
- Co-founded Movers & Shakers in 2002 out of a need within the PD Community for more awareness of Early Onset Parkinson's and ability to create a system of support & outreach.
- Michael has been diagnosed with Parkinson's for 16 years. Gretchen has been diagnosed for 12 years.
- They have led the charge when it comes to Early onset Parkinson's Disease and helping others.
- Michael along with his wife, Gretchen and others created the first Young Onset Parkinson's Conference. That conference is still going strong today through NPF and APDA.
- Michael and Gretchen are the Florida State Director for the Parkinson Action Network (PAN), effectively advocating for greater research and awareness of Parkinson's Disease to our Congressional Leaders.
- Authors of the book "Living Well with Parkinson's Disease."
- Michael currently sits on the board of the local Parkinson's Association (PASFI).
- Both currently and in the past sit on steering committees for conferences.
- Movers & Shakers is an Organizational Partner for the World Parkinson's Congress
- Public speaking throughout the country and internationally about several Parkinson's topics.
- Recipients of the "Milly Kondrake" award 2013 presented in October 2013 by the Parkinson Action Network (PAN)