After Geri Berding was diagnosed with a mild form of Parkinson’s disease two years ago, she said the biggest things that helped her deal with the disease are her faith and her church family, Rolling Acres Christian Reformed Church in Mason, City, Iowa.
That is why she and her husband, Hal, along with other members of the church, decided to hold an event focusing on Parkinson’s disease on April 30. Geri wants to “build relationships with others who have Parkinson’s disease and hopes that they can be a support to each other.” She explained further, “The overwhelming support that we have had from our communities, the people that we are connected with, has meant the world to us who fight this disease!”
Philip Boender is the pastor at Rolling Acres. He said, “Our goal was to let the love of God shine as we came alongside not only Geri and her family but all participants in this event, who, one way or another, deal with Parkinson’s.”
Over 300 people attended this year’s event, which included a 5K walk or run, food, and a silent auction, along with information booths for people to become informed about Parkinson’s and different treatments available. All donations went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for research into the disease. Before the event even happened, $7,000 of the $10,000 goal had been raised.
Geri says there are plans to hold another event next year, as well as a Lady of the Lake cruise in September for people with Parkinson’s and their families. Geri hopes this will be a way for people to continue connecting and helping each other.