Merrimack women state case for Parkinson’s research

Courtesy photo Pictured from left, Terry Woods, Edna Woods and actor Michael J. Fox reminisce at an event in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The women have met Fox many times in their work with The New England Parkinson’s Ride and raising funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation to speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Edna and Terry Woods, of Merrimack, were invited to attend a Parkinson’s Forum in Washington, D.C., which took place Feb. 26-28 at the Washington Court Hotel, and there were meetings and conferences on Sunday and Monday, Feb. 26 and 27. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the participants from 43 states were bussed to Capitol Hill to attend scheduled meetings with their representatives in Congress and Senators to discuss the need for additional funding for Parkinson’s research. At the end of his tenure, President Obama pushed through the Cures Act for Neurological Diseases. Now the bill will go before Congress to decide how this funding should be allocated.

Meetings were held with Congresswoman Carole Shea Porter and her staff, and with staff members of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Maggie Hassan. The results of these meetings were very encouraging.

The Parkinson’s Forum was presented by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, and on Monday, Edna and Terry attended a private reception for Fox. He had just arrived in D.C. from the Oscars that afternoon, attended the reception on Monday night, and then spent the whole day on Tuesday meeting with politicians on the Hill. His unbounding energy, and determination to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease is incredible. There are three projects in the research pipeline that are very hopeful, but they need additional funding. It is imperative that these and other research projects receive funding from the government. The Michael J Fox Foundation raises millions of dollars each year that goes to research, but they cannot do it by themselves.

Edna and Bob Woods are the founders of The New England Parkinson’s Ride, an event that they created when their son, Chris, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Terry is Chris’s wife. Each year for the last nine years cyclists have ridden to raise money for Parkinson’s research through The Michael J Fox Foundation. The 10th anniversary ride will take place on Sept. 9, and the goal is to have 1,000 cyclists, who will together raise $1,000,000 this year. Over the past nine years, the ride has raised over $2.5 million dollars for research. Read about it at or for information about the ride write to The New England Parkinson’s Ride, PO Box 1124, Merrimack, N.H. 03054 or email at

– Submitted by The New England Parkinson’s Ride