Man Battling Parkinson's Disease Creates Light Show Using 20,000 Lights to Send Shimmering Message of Hope for 1.2 Million Americans Awaiting Cure

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Plymouth Minnesota resident Mike Justak will illuminate over 20,000 lights that “shimmer” and dance in sync with Holiday music each night now through December 26. PD Shimmers, as he calls it, is a tongue in cheek reference to the most common symptom of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), tremor. His home’s front lawn is the stage for 3 trees, 5 light poles, and a 11' "mega" tree that play host to the lights. Plymouth, Minnesota Mayor Kelli Slavik will be on hand December 8th to start the lights and unveil an interactive feature where a spectator can operate the lights using a Wii guitar. Justak, a Parkinson's patient who was diagnosed at the age of 47, decided he wasn’t going to sit back and wait for the progressive disease to take control of his body. He instead created a non-profit known as Partnerships for Parkinson's (PFP, Inc.). With “PD Shimmers” Justak hopes to increase awareness of the disease, raise funds and offer fun family entertainment. Along with its Parkinson's message the show includes a light and video tribute to those in the military serving abroad. Show hours, playlists, maps, videos, and behind the scenes looks are available on the website, http://www.pdshimmers.com

"PD Shimmers is more than just a light show. I believe it is the only light show designed and built by a Parkinson's patient. The show shimmers a message of hope and inspiration to the million who battle this incurable disease each day."

Plymouth Minnesota resident Mike Justak will illuminate over 20,000 lights for a Holiday Season show he has entitled “PD Shimmers”, nightly through December 26. An advocate for those who suffer with Parkinson’s disease and a patient himself, Justak hopes his show will increase awareness of the disease and the need to help fund research for a cure. Currently over 1.2 million Americans have the incurable, progressive Parkinson’s disease. The show includes an interactive selection where a random viewer is chosen to "play" the lights using a Wii guitar. Each half hour concludes with a tribute to active military personnel. A coming attractions trailer using test clips and video from last season is available on vimeo on this location http://vimeo.com/24248161

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder that strikes when a brain chemical, dopamine, no longer exists in sufficient quantity. Dopamine, which works like oil in an engine, provides the means for smooth transmission of movement of one's muscles.

“People tend to associate Parkinson’s as a disease of the elderly,” Justak noted. “However nearly one in five is younger than fifty when diagnosed. Fueled by the younger demographic, Parkinson's disease creates an enormous financial burden which now approaches over $10 billion dollars a year.”

I hope to use the show as a device to get people to take notice of PD and hopefully compel them to act by texting "Partner" to 48510.”

"The show is a tool I’m using to bring awareness to Parkinson’s disease. It (the show) runs about 10 minutes. The sad fact is that during that 10 minute period someone new will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.”

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