Sunflower Serves Hundreds; Linda Armstrong is Honored; Dr. Revilla Recounts His Summits

Collage of photos

From left: Davis Phinney gives the sign of victory; Kim Seroogy, PhD, presents Linda Armstrong with the Sunflower Victory Award; and Kathy Krumme, bike ride co-chair, echos the day’s sentiments. Photos by Tonya Hines and Tom Uhlman.

Morning showers put a soggy spin on the ninth annual Sunflower Revolution, but the sun was shining and organizers were smiling before the day was out. All told, 348 patients, caregivers and family members attended the free educational symposium and expo, a project of the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, one of four institutes of UC Health. In addition, more than 200 cyclists – including former Tour de France Stage-winner and Olympian Davis Phinney — braved the early clouds and enjoyed a scenic 40-kilometer bike ride, which benefitted the Gardner Center through the UC Foundation’s Davis Phinney / Donald Krumme Fund.

People pose for photo

Linda Armstrong, a longtime advocate for people with Parkinson’s disease, was honored during the symposium with the 2012 Sunflower Victory Award. The award was presented by Kim Seroogy, PhD, Director of the Selma Schottenstein Harris Lab for Research in Parkinson’s and Research Director at the Gardner Center. Ms. Armstrong was praised for “representing the spirit and the ‘Move to Live, Live to Move’ philosophy of the Sunflower Revolution.”

Ellen Air, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon with the Gardner Center and Mayfield Clinic, discusses surgical management of Parkinson’s disease at the Sunflower symposium. Photo by Martha Headworth / Mayfield Clinic.

Attendees were also treated to a special e-mail from Fredy J. Revilla, MD, Director of the Gardner Center and holder of the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Chair. Dr. Revilla turned a once-in-a-lifetime mountaineering vacation into his own personal fundraiser for the Gardner Center. Dr. Revilla had hoped to summit Mount Sajama, the highest peak in Bolivia, but the peak was not accessible because of bad weather. Nevertheless, Dr. Revilla proudly displayed a Gardner Center banner – generously provided by Advance Printing in Cincinnati – at the summit of Nevada Illimani in Bolivia.

Dr. Revilla wrote:

… We made the summit of Illimani, in the Cordillera Real in Bolivia, yesterday at 7:30 a.m., after leaving the Campo Alto at 2:00 a.m. the same day. In the last 10 days we have climbed:

•    Cerro Rico, Potosi: 15,688 ft.
•    Nevado Tarija: 17,241 ft.
•    Nevado Pequeno Alpamayo: 17,618 ft.
•    Nevado Illimani: 21,122 ft.

Our main target, Sajama, was not accessible due to bad weather.

Tomorrow I leave to climb Nevado Huayna Potosi: 19, 974 ft., which is the last one of the trip.

Please extend my big thanks to our good friend Davis Phinney for inspiring me to conquer my own personal summit, and I hope to serve as inspiration for our patients and families, colleagues and friends to set their own summits.

We are back for tonight in the hotel but leaving tomorrow morning again for the mountains.Best regards and muchos abrazos from Bolivia. Have a great Sunflower Revolution event tomorrow! Please share my message with everyone attending the event.

Fredy

The Sunflower Revolution was named and founded in 2004 by Ms. Krumme, whose father, the late Donald Krumme, suffered from Parkinson’s disease. The sunflower is not only a ubiquitous sight at the Tour de France, the world’s most famous cycling event, it is also a symbol of hope. Those who support the Sunflower events are helping fuel research that will lead to a revolution in the care of people with Parkinson’s disease.

— Cindy Starr

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