State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) hosted a kick-off of the Massachusetts Legislature Parkinson’s Disease Caucus at the State House on Wednesday, November 4.
The purpose of the caucus, which will meet again in the spring, is to provide legislators an opportunity to come together with experts and advocates to learn more about Parkinson’s and consider legislative steps to address the neurological disease, which affects between 500,000 and 1.5 million Americans and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that 60,000 people are diagnosed each year in the U.S. with Parkinson’s. The exact cause of the disease remains unknown.
Co-hosting the Caucus kick-off were the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Massachusetts chapters of the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) and American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA). Among those in attendance for the caucus were the Offices of State Senators Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D-Newburyport) and Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover).
This past April, DiZoglio hosted Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Day at the State House and sponsored a resolution, co-sponsored by 50 other legislators, proclaiming the month of April as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month in the Commonwealth.
“Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disease without a treatment to slow or halt its progression,” said DiZoglio. “I was honored to host the kick-off of the Parkinson’s Disease Caucus and look forward to continue raising awareness about the disease with citizens from the Merrimack Valley and across the Commonwealth. Thank you to North Andover’s Charles Brown, Massachusetts state director of the Parkinson’s Action Network, for his inspirational comments at the kick-off and for helping to launch the Caucus.”
“Representative DiZoglio has been a true friend to the Parkinson’s community here in Massachusetts,” said Charles Brown, Massachusetts state director of the Parkinson’s Action Network. “This caucus gives the Parkinson’s community a tool to communicate needed services to improve the quality of life for us, our caregivers, and family and friends. I don’t know where my future journey will lead me, but it’s full of hope that there will be a cure.”