East Texas is getting ready for the East Texas Optimism Walk 2012 for Parkinson's on April 28 in Tyler at Rose Rudman Recreational Trail.  The walk raises money for education, research and support services for those affected with Parkinson's disease.

Some 3.6 million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Approximately 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and many more have Parkinson's without even knowing it.

It predominately affects the elderly, but healthcare providers also see early onset cases, which are estimated between five and 10 percent of the total Parkinson's population.  Actor Michael J. Fox is in that category. Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with the disease in 1991, but didn't disclose that fact until 1998. Since that time Michael J. Fox has been a huge advocate for finding a cure for this debilitating disease.

The Tyler walk is open to all East Texas residents, and the walk starts at 11:30 a.m. from the Robert E. Lee parking lot near the REL track. Check -in begins at 10 a.m. All activities will conclude at 2 p.m.

More more information, or if you would like to support or participate in the Optimism Walk for Parkinson's, contact Kelly Boutin at 903-596-3618 or log on to etapda.org.