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Patient Council

Karen Jaffe, MD

Cleveland, Ohio

Karen Jaffe, Patient Council Member.

"The Patient Council has allowed me to bring the work of the Foundation back to my community; educating the Parkinson's community on what is happening, and how they can help keep the momentum going."

Karen Jaffe is an OB/GYN physician, retired from private practice. In 2007 at the age of 48, Dr. Jaffe was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

She has become an advocate for clinical research, an active Team Fox fundraiser and a source of consult for those with the disease. In 2011 she formed Shaking With Laughter, a charitable organization that raises money for Parkinson's research through events that have an element of humor. Now in its fifth year, she and her husband Marc have raised over $800,000 for Parkinson's research.

Dr. Jaffe is a co-founder of InMotion, a community center for Parkinson's patients and other movement disorders where the stigma of PD is left at the door, and all services are free to patients and their care partners.

Dr. Jaffe and her husband, Marc, have three daughters: Alena, Jana and Sarah.


The MJFF Patient Council was established in March 2009 as a formal channel for the Foundation to solicit input from PD patients and the broader Parkinson's community. The Council advises the Foundation on programmatic fronts including (but not limited to) strategies to best convey patient priorities to the research community and its funders; content and emphasis for patient education and outreach relevant to MJFF's mission to find a cure; patient roles in developing novel ways to conduct research; and mechanisms for impact assessment.

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