The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) announces that Bill Rasmussen has joined its team to help speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Rasmussen will sit on the Foundation’s Patient Council, a 35-member body of individuals living with Parkinson’s who guide and counsel the Foundation on programmatic strategy to ensure the Foundation’s mission to bring a cure for Parkinson’s over the finish line is informed, supported and fortified by the patient voice.

As a Foundation ambassador, Mr. Rasmussen will speak to Parkinson’s patients and families about the invaluable contribution they can make by participating in research studies, especially in the first days and months after a diagnosis with PD. By telling his own story of Parkinson’s diagnosis and engagement in the community, he hopes to quarterback an effort to find, educate, encourage and recruit newly diagnosed patients in research studies during their critical earliest stages of disease, a media release from MJFF notes.

“Whether Parkinson’s-related or not, the obstacles in my life won’t stop — and I won’t let them stop me,” Rasmussen says. “I make workarounds to address the disease, and I accept it for what it is. I still enjoy meeting new people. And I continue to be grateful that I can share my story. I hope my life story can help more people — even just one more person.”

Rasmussen is featured in the Foundation’s new resource, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now: The Michael J. Fox Foundation Patient Council’s Guide for People Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.” He also was a guest panelist on the Foundation’s corresponding webinar held Thursday, May 21 from 12 to 1 pm ET. (Register to listen on demand.)

He will also appear in the Foundation’s limited series COVID-19 podcast hosted by fellow MJFF Patient Council member Larry Gifford, founder and host of the award-winning podcast “When Life Gives You Parkinson’s” (Corus Entertainment/CuriousCast).

“The first few months and years following a Parkinson’s diagnosis can be overwhelming,” says Rachel Dolhun, MD, vice president of medical communications at The Michael J. Fox Foundation, in the release. “Few people think about participating in clinical trials during this time. But people in this fleeting window are in a unique position to contribute to research and help scientists capture the full continuum of Parkinson’s.

“We are thrilled to have Bill as an ally in sharing this story and helping increase the flow of critically needed newly diagnosed individuals into Parkinson’s research.”

[Source(s): Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, PR Newswire]