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Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces Relaunch of Parkinson’s Podcast

  • Foundation Patient Council Member and veteran broadcaster Larry Gifford tapped to host monthly conversations on the latest advances in Parkinson’s disease research and care

AUGUST 20, 2020, NEW YORK, NY and VANCOUVER, CANADA – The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) announces the re-launch of its Parkinson’s Podcast — a monthly conversation hosted by Larry Gifford and designed to help people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their care partners stay informed on the latest topics in research and care.  

Diagnosed with PD at 45, Gifford sits on the Foundation’s Patient Council — an advisory group of individuals living with Parkinson’s who guide and counsel MJFF’s programmatic strategy. A native of Westerville, Ohio, Gifford is the host of the award-winning Curiouscast podcast When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, founder of the global advocacy group PD Avengers, and National Director of Talk Radio for Corus Entertainment in Canada. Earlier this year, Gifford hosted a limited series podcast for the Foundation on navigating Parkinson’s during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Podcast, a Foundation offering since 2009, will continue its monthly cadence, offering conversation and analysis of a range of topics spanning Parkinson’s research and care, including:

  • Putting Parkinson’s science, drug development and policy issues in context
  • Making the most of Parkinson’s care with your doctor and care team
  • Staying active and combating isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic

“We’ve been fans of Larry’s own podcast since it launched in 2018, and the opportunity to bring his accessible, conversational style to our audience was one we couldn’t pass up,” said Holly Teichholtz, MJFF’s chief marketing officer. “We hope people and families living with PD will tune in to learn more about the heartening progress in Parkinson’s drug development and all the ways our Foundation can help them become active in the nationwide Parkinson’s community.”

The first episode of the relaunched MJFF Parkinson’s Podcast aired in July and brings tips for everyday people who want to advocate for public policy on behalf of those living with Parkinson’s. It hits during a period of extraordinary political activity, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has just recalled U.S. Representatives back to Washington, D.C., in the midst of August Recess. Episode guests explain the important role people with PD and their partners play in advocating for policy priorities by sharing their stories with lawmakers. Published this week, the second episode in the newly minted podcast explores the intersection of race and Parkinson’s and the value of inclusivity in speeding research. Guests share how the Foundation is working today to break down barriers to recruit and retain underrepresented communities in research. (Listen to all episodes for free here.)

Gifford takes over the podcast from Patient Council member Dave Iverson, a broadcast journalist, writer, editor and producer for PBS and NPR, who launched the podcast with MJFF more than 10 years ago. Says Gifford: “The only reason I host a podcast on Parkinson’s is because I listened to a Dave Iverson interview and was inspired to share my story. Dave set the bar high by honoring people with PD, making complicated medical research easy to understand, being kind and generous. I hope I can inspire others to take action just like Dave did for me.”

The podcast is available free of charge every month on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Listeners are encouraged to leave ratings and reviews, and to share the podcast widely with their personal networks.


About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $900 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.

About When Life Gives You Parkinson’s Podcast

When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is an honest, funny, and engaging podcast chronicling host Larry Gifford’s personal journey with Parkinson’s disease. Gifford, his wife Rebecca, and their son Henry live in Vancouver, British Columbia. Gifford has worked in radio for nearly 30 years. In August 2017, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 45. Now in its third season, When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is a first-hand account of what it is like to live with Parkinson’s with a family and a career. Winner Best Podcast 2020 by RTDNA Canada West, Best of 2018 Apple Podcasts, Canada. The podcast is part of the Curiouscast podcast network, which is the podcast distribution platform for Corus Entertainment in Canada.

For more information, visit us on the web, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Kristina Magana
The Michael J. Fox Foundation

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