Golf tournament raises funds to target Parkinson's disease

Sept. 7 event to be held at HiMark Golf Course in Lincoln

Donald Longe will see you at the first tee.

Longe is one of the founders and organizers of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Neurological Sciences' Parkinson's Golf Tournament, set to tee off on Sept. 7 at the HiMark Golf Gourse in Lincoln.

Longe has been battling Parkinson's disease for 19 years -- but that won't stop him from participating in the seventh annual event, which he sees as an opportunity to have fun while raising awareness and educating people about Parkinson's disease.

"The tournament makes people a bit more aware of the disease," Longe said. "And the HiMark is a very nice course to play."

Parkinson's disease is the second most common chronic progressive neurological disorder, and 2 to 3 percent of Nebraska residents will develop Parkinson's over the course of their lives.

Primary motor signs of Parkinson's disease include the following:

  • Tremor of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face.
  • Slowness of movement.
  • Rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk.
  • Impaired balance and coordination.

The tournament supports research, outreach and educational programs to ease the burden on people struggling with the disease and to help in efforts to find a cure. The Information and Referral Program sponsored by the American Parkinson's Disease Association and the Nebraska Chapter of the American Parkinson's Disease Association held a statewide teleconference in July that was partially funded by proceeds from last year's event, and funds raised support other efforts, as well.

"Research, outreach and education are the keys to keeping those with Parkinson's disease 'in the game,'" said Karen Anderson, Parkinson's Resource Coordinator at the APDA Information and Referral program at UNMC. "Not only do golfers get a fun round of golf on a great course, they help support programs to ease the burden of this disease and find a cure.

"I talk with individuals affected by Parkinson's disease daily and work with support group leaders in communities across the entire state of Nebraska," she said. "Our outreach does make a difference."

An avid golfer, Longe -- who has been a patient of UNMC professor John Bertoni, M.D., Ph.D., for 15 years -- will be driving the course in a cart and using a cane when he is approaching his golf ball this year.

"One time I lost my balance and fell down, but I don't let it stop me," he said.

His family -- wife, daughters, cousins, nieces and nephews -- will be teeing off as well, he said. But things stay noncompetitive.

"It's all for fun and a good cause."

For more details on the event or to speak with Donald Longe, contact Karen Anderson at the American Parkinson's Disease Association, Nebraska Chapter, or call 402-559-8839.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.






John Keenan
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-8329
(402) 559-8329

Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)