The Sunflower Revolution III fundraiser netted $300,000 for Parkinson’s research and wellness programs, the Davis Phinney Foundation, the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital announced Tuesday.
The Denver-based Davis Phinney Foundation, which hosted the Sunflower Revolution gala and bike ride in October, will donate the funds in the form of grants to Neuroscience Institute researchers working in basic-science laboratories and clinical settings.
Cycling legend Davis Phinney, who in 1986 became the first American to win a stage of the Tour de France, was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s at age 40. He assumed the role of Parkinson’s advocate with the formation of his foundation in 2004.
“We’re very pleased with the support and generosity demonstrated by the Cincinnati community,” said Rick Tallman, executive director of the Davis Phinney Foundation. “Their contributions will have a significant impact on the research effort at the Neuroscience Institute and will help improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s disease.”
John Tew, MD, clinical director of the Neuroscience Institute, thanked the institute, the Davis Phinney Foundation and the Greater Cincinnati community for their “important team effort.”
The Sunflower Revolution and related events have raised $540,000 for Parkinson's programs since 2004. Earlier this year the Davis Phinney Foundation named the Neuroscience Institute and Stanford University as its first Davis Phinney Research Centers. The Neuroscience Institute, which comprises nine neuroscience specialties at UC and University Hospital, includes UC’s departments of neurology and neurosurgery, which in 2005 ranked third and 13th, respectively, among public medical schools in the amount of funding received from the National Institutes of Health.
A three-day event, the Sunflower Revolution featured a gala, an educational symposium, and bike rides of 62 and 25 miles.
An estimated 1.5 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological disorder involving the death of dopamine-producing nerve cells deep within the brain. Parkinson’s affects one of every 100 people over the age of 60, and 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. As yet there is no cure for Parkinson’s, and physicians are unable to slow or halt its progression.
A regional center of excellence at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital, the Neuroscience Institute is dedicated to patient care, research, education and the development of new treatments for stroke, brain and spinal tumors, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, trauma and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.