Focus on a Cure Foundation was founded and established by Ann & Ken Glowienke in early 2007 with the hopes of raising awareness, increasing education, providing support to patients and family members who live with Parkinson's disease. One of the goals of the foundation is to raise funds through various activities to support the mission as well as to provide funding to critical research being conducted to find a cure or more effective treatments for Parkinson's disease.


On November 12, 2004 following more than year of enduring various medications Ken was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's disease. Although the average age of diagnosed onset for Parkinson's disease is in the early 60s, approximately 10% of the 1.5 million people with the disease are thought to be below the age of 40[1]; Ken was 37 when his symptoms first appeared.

Shortly following the official diagnosis Ann took on the mission of gathering information on how this unwelcome intruder was going to impact their lives. Ken had just recently finished his bachelor's degree and was beginning a new job and they also were moving into their first house at the end of the year. During her research Ann came across The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research web site. Michael had revealed in 1998 he was living with YOPD since 1991. The foundation that bears his name was founded in 2000 and was making great strides in bringing the needs of the Parkinson's community to the world stage. In early 2005 during her research Ann noticed a small link on the Fox Foundations web site looking for people to join in a new venture they were to launch in late 2005 called Team Fox for Parkinson's Research. This was to be and is today the grassroots community based fundraising arm of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Team Fox members collectively contributed to date 3.5 million dollars for research related to Parkinson's disease.


Ann signed up for this new venture as "Team Glowienke" thinking this would be a great way to get involved in fighting this unwelcome intruder and possibly a way for Ken to feel more in control of his future as it related to Parkinson's disease. Unbeknownst to Ken, Ann began organizing the first annual "Team Glowienke" walk for Parkinson's to benefit Team Fox. In early 2006 Ann finally let Ken in on her plans at which he was amazed on what she had accomplished but not surprised by the unconditional support and love in which it was done with.


On May 20, 2006 forty friends and family gathered at a small park in Carol Stream, IL and raised $3,600 for Team Fox.

On May 19, 2007 in that same small park about 90-100 friends and family gathered for the second annual walk and raised just over $8,000.

It was at this point Ken and Ann realized they had raised interest in what they were doing and were inspired by the response of family, friends and people they had never met. It was at that moment the idea of beginning their own non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity so they could increase and enhance the excitement and involvement Ann had begun at that small park with Forty people,
In September 2007 the Focus on a Cure Foundation for Parkinson's was officially established and plans began for the 2008 annual event.

On Sunday May 18, 2008 Focus on a Cure held the first annual Picnic in the PARKinson's at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL and welcomed over 360 people from five different states and Canada. Hosted by local US 99 on air radio personality Drew Walker the event raised over $20,000 for Parkinson's!

On Sunday May 17, 2009 The Fourth Annual Picnic in the PARKinson's event was held and was once again a success by being measured against the attendance and funds raised at the 2008 event. We continue to increase awareness and gain support in the Parkinson's community giving us the ability to provide support to those research and education organizations who are in need and working towar a cure.

Focus on a Cure still supports Team Fox but now has the ability to accomplish even more for the Parkinson's community in addition to supporting Team Fox. Focus on a Cure now looks to the future and how they will take their mission to inspire community involvement and raise awareness for Parkinson's disease that will fund research to ultimately find a cure beyond the borders of their wildest dreams in hope of finding a cure a quickly as possible. We ask that you join Focus on a Cure Foundation for Parkinson’s in spreading awareness for People living with Parkinson's and help raise the funds needed to reach this attainable goal of a cure in our lifetime.

As you consider being a part of this new patient led movement remember no matter how big or how many people join Focus on a Cure in their mission, at the heart of all of it still remains the unconditional love of a woman who just simply wanted to get involved in honor of and to support her husband who at the age of 43 is still living with Parkinson's. They strongly believe they will see the day when their efforts hopefully in some small way contributed to a cure for this unwelcome intruder we know as Parkinson's.
Please contact Focus on a Cure at 312-81-FOCUS for more information on how you can be part of this patient led movement to help us and each other along this journey.

[1.] Koller W, Hubble J. Young-onset Parkinson's disease. In: Johnson A, ed. Young Parkinson's Handbook. Staten Island, NY: APDA Publications; 1995: 10-15.

The "Focus on a Cure" Eagle Story

FOCUS:

  • To concentrate attention or effort
  • A point of concentration
  • Directed attention
  • A state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding

We are often asked “why the stern looking eagle” well there are two clear answers, one is personal and the other is logical.

First as a teenager I was involved in sports in high school and our school mascot was an eagle. This began my fascination with this majestic bird and symbol of strength and freedom. Since I was 15 years old the eagle or the image of a eagle was incorporated into everything that defined me or at least defined who I thought was me; I would later find the true person I am today.

Described in the definitions above for FOCUS all descriptions refer to attention, concentration, or clear perception, all qualities of the American bald eagles keen sense of eyesight used in hunting its prey.

Here are some facts on this incredible bird of prey:

  • All eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight, and the bald eagle is no exception. They have two foveae or centers of focus, that allow the birds to see both forward and to the side at the same time.
  • Bald eagles are capable of seeing fish in the water from several hundred feet above, while soaring, gliding or in flapping flight.
  • An eagle's eye sharpness is at least four times that of a person with perfect vision.
  • The expression "eagle eye" describes quite accurately one of the unique physical adaptations of the bald eagle.

The ability of the eagle to stay focused from great heights on their goal and never losing sight of it until it is rendered helpless in the strong grip in its talons or beak is the basis of our use of stern looking eagle as what represents Focus on a Cure Foundation for Parkinson’s.

When the idea of creating our own foundation was discussed there was no question that the eagle would represent our resolve to our part to find a cure. At first Ann came up with the name “keep your eye on the cure” and many variations of this theme followed until a few days later it became clear on a name and why it was the right choice.

At this time we were working with Team Fox of The Michael J. Fox Foundation and trying to generate participation in our then ”Team Glowienke” from the local Parkinson’s community. While speaking with several different groups and organizations we saw what we felt was duplication of and protection of each groups programs and fundraising. It was at that time Ann came out with the frustrated statement “Why don’t these groups get together and Focus their efforts on the real issue in finding a cure” and so it was the Focus on a Cure Foundation for Parkinson’s was created and is open to all who wish to join our efforts in keeping focus on the real goal of finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease

© 2008 Focus on a Cure Foundation for Parkinson's.  All Rights Reserved.