HONESDALE—The Wayne County commissioners declared June to be “Parkinson's Awareness Month in Wayne County” at their meeting on June 1.

In their proclamation, they cited it as a chance to “provide information on resources on both a local and national level, to support people living with Parkinson's and their care-partners, and to raise funds to help find a cure for Parkinson's Disease.”

According to the proclamation, there are over one million people living with Parkinson's in the United States with roughly 60,000 new people diagnosed each year.

Rolland Grote, co-founder of the Pocono Fox Trot for Parkinson's Research, stated at the meeting that annual medical costs for Parkinson's can exceed $25 billion with American Institute of Health only able to donate $126 million each year for research – less than one percent of the cost.

According to Grote, the Michael J. Fox Foundation raises significant funds each year for research through a mix of corporate donations and Team Fox organizations.

Included in those Team Fox contributions is money raised from the aforementioned Fox Trot, an annual 5K held in Milford.

Grote stated the Pocono Fox Trot raised over $50,000 in its first two years running and hopes to hit $35,000 at this year's event, held on June 17 at Ann Street Park in Milford.

Registration for the event will begin at 8 a.m.

Following the run/walk, there will be an after party featuring music and refreshments.

All money donated goes to help fund research to slow or stop the spread of the disease.

“[The foundation is] making great strides towards making therapies available to reduce or ease the symptoms,” said Grote.

Involved in this, Grote mentioned the research is looking into repurposing drugs used in cancer treatments to help fight Parkinson's.

“We're happy to do everything we can towards hopefully coming up with a cure,” said Grote.

He stated that, to date, there's neither a known cure nor cause for Parkinson's, but the foundation is making progress.

After reading the proclamation, Commissioner Brian Smith stated, “I just wanna compliment you on all the hard work that you're all doing. 50,000 in a couple years is a big advantage to the whole Michael J. Fox drive.”

Commissioner Wendell Kay added, “We all wanna thank you for being kind enough to share your personal story with not just us but everybody in the public.”

Kay stated, “... you wanna benefit other people as much as you can and that is something that is very admirable.”

More information regarding the 5K can be found on their website: www.poconofoxtrot5k.org.

More information about Parkinson's Disease and the Michael J. Fox Foundation can be found online at: www.michaeljfox.org.