For Father’s Day If your Dad has Parkinson’s, show him you care by making a long-term investment in his health and the future of Parkinson’s disease research. At no cost, give him access to his genetic data and the growing Parkinson’s Research Community (~7,500 strong!) at 23andMe. Visit www.23andme.com/pd to sign him up.Participating in genetic research was only the beginning for Gary. Since then, he completed a profile on Fox Trial Finder, The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s clinical trial matching site. Through this tool, he found–and completed–a study on cognition and Parkinson’s at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, which is near his home in the Dallas area. He also connected with Ceregene’s CERE-120 trial, for a potentially neuroprotective gene therapy. However, as he was being screened for this trial, Gary learned he had suffered a small stroke at some point. While this made his participation in the trial no longer possible, it was information he didn’t have before. And it hasn’t dampened his determination to participate in future clinical trials–he’s still looking to contribute wherever he can.Like his attitude toward genetic research, Gary wonders why you wouldn’t participate in clinical research. “I want everyone to get involved through Fox Trial Finder,” he says. And he’s encouraging friends and family members to sign up.Gary has also taken action through Team Fox–“to do something positive,” he says. In Texas, he has hosted several Team Fox events, including a pancakes breakfast and a shopping event on his town’s Main Street. His sister in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has gotten involved, too. She hosted a comedy night and an event at a Milwaukee Brewers’ game.Through Team Fox and clinical trial participation, Gary is happy to do his part to help speed a cure and support MJFF’s efforts. “The Michael J. Fox Foundation is a sign of hope for me,” he says. “I know they’re working in one direction–toward improved treatments and a cure. That’s just what I need.”
Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who purchased prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will not. Those customers will have access to ancestry information as well as access to their uninterpreted raw data.