For Team Fox member Hal Halvorsen, running a marathon wasn't something he saw in his future. But then again, neither was getting Parkinson's. So in August of 2003, shortly after he was diagnosed, he made the decision to change his "couch potato ways" and started running. He bought a treadmill, began to walk, then run. He had never run in his life before, but was soon signing up for his first race. In October of 2004, he ran a 5K in Baltimore with son Adam for the "Movers and Shakers" which raised money for the National Parkinson's Foundation. It was the first time he had raised money for a Parkinson's organization, and became his first of many races. He ran a half marathon in 2005 and began to think bigger. "I began to think I could run a marathon. That's when I discovered Team Fox. I found I could raise money for a cure with Team Fox and run the 2007 NYC Marathon." Since, Hal's run the 2009 Boston Marathon and the NYC Marathon again in 2010.
Inspired to raise more funds and awareness for Parkinson's research, Hal and wife Mary started the Belvidere Fox Trot 5K in 2010 in their community. Held in April to highlight Parkinson's Awareness Month, this 5K run and 1 mile community walk is a way for the Halvorsen family to fundraise together and engage the community. To date, Hal has raised over $13,000 for Team Fox and Parkinson's research!
He also saw the importance of clinical trials right away and enrolled without hesitation. "I felt that participating in clinical trials gave me a way to do something about the condition I had encountered. I was not looking for a cure to my own condition, but a way to do something to help others that were not yet effected by Parkinson's disease" says Hal. He admits that living with Parkinson's can be tough - especially some of the small things. Not being able to smell the flowers or difficulty shuffling a deck of cards (Hal's an amateur magician!) have been hard, but he's not letting that get him down. "Because my face is sometimes masked, I may look sad but I'm not. I'm very optimistic! I realize that PD is just another adventure in my life. It's just part of my journey! MJFF/Team Fox has supported us and other PD patients along their journeys. They are a beacon of hope. It's such a comfort to know someone is working as hard as they are to facilitate a cure."
The 3rd Annual Belvidere Fox Trot 5K will take place this Saturday, April 14th, at 9AM in Belvidere, NJ. To find out more, visit their event website here.