Founded in 2015, our Ambassador Leadership Program supports local community leaders, volunteers, and change-makers in their personal pursuits to help people with Parkinson’s live well today. From speaking with individuals and families to presenting at conferences, sharing resources through exhibit tables, and participating in local, regional, and national advocacy, our Ambassadors are active, passionate volunteers changing how people live with Parkinson’s. Read on for details about our newest Ambassadors.
Chris Daigre – Seattle, WashingtoN
Chris is a Seattle native who played guard on Roosevelt High School’s 1982 championship basketball team and grew up with dance at his family’s renowned Ewajo Dance Workshop. As a shy kid in his mother’s dance studio, Chris was fascinated by the teaching artists and professional dancers passing through. “They were some of the most engaging people I had ever met; very funny, but also wise and full of vitality, mental dedication, and discipline. To be in the midst of them, to see how they went about their work, creating dances and working together, was transformational for me. That was the spark”. That spark ignited a teaching career that has continued for more than 25 years. Chris has contributed choreography to productions of the 5th Ave Musical Theater, The Village Theatre, Broadway Bound Children’s Theater, Taproot Theater and others. He has collaborated with the Ladies’ Musical Club to bring dance to PE classes in elementary schools and developed community dance programs in association with Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Theatre Group. Learn more about Chris here.
Keri Shaw – Austin, Texas
“I was diagnosed in April 2021, after a couple of years of chasing a diagnosis. I have been a competitive marathon runner and triathlete for years and a few years ago I noticed my ability to dig deep was getting harder to do. I did not present with a noticeable tremor; my tremor is predominately internal, so I was not an “obvious” PD patient. So far, I struggle with left sided bradykinesia, but luckily, I can still run and will be running the Chicago Marathon in October! Side note: I have the Parkinson’s shuffle when I run which always makes for a goofy looking run – think Fred Flintstone, fast, short foot strikes.
I am an open book, so feel free to talk to me about anything! I speak on different platforms for sobriety and now YOPD. I am an advocate for both diseases and want to start conversations. I share my story on Instagram @twistintheroad – check it out.” Learn more about Keri here.
Kristin McCoach – Doylestown, Pennsylvania
“My name is Kristin McCoach and I’ve been a Fitness Professional in Doylestown, Pennsylvania for almost 20 years. My passion for supporting people living with Parkinson’s Disease was cultivated when I was asked to become a Rock Steady Boxing Coach in 2018. From the moment I stepped into the ring and saw the determination of these fighters, I knew this community was something special. I am inspired by this O’hana, this family, and I’ve made it my mission to serve individuals in the Parkinson’s community and making a positive impact in their everyday lives. Becoming a Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassador will give me the tools to further dive into this mission which is beyond exciting!” Learn more about Kristin here.
Danna Lee – Illinois
When Danna Lee was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2019, she felt incredibly alone and didn’t know where to begin. After reaching out to the Davis Phinney Foundation, connecting with an ambassador, and receiving an Every Victory Counts Manual, Danna began to feel part of something special. For her community in Illinois, Danna wants to be a person someone can talk to in order to help them feel less alone. Danna is now able to look at her diagnosis as a gift. Before she was just moving through life, now she is truly living. Learn more about Danna here.
Patty Wargo – Pennsylvania
When Patty was first diagnosed in 2004, she immediately started researching Parkinson’s – its impact physically, emotionally, cognitively, and treatments and support available in her geographical area. While identifying resources in her area was extremely frustrating at first, she has since found a support group, RSB group, and a mindfulness group. Patty has made close friends within these groups and is also participating in a pilot project to mentor newly diagnosed folks. Patty’s skills of listening, engaging with others, building trust, and exhibiting empathy will contribute to her journey as an Ambassador. Learn more about Patty here.
Sree Sripathy – California
Sree Sripathy is a photographer and writer from California. She works full time in Tech and is on the Board of Directors for a local arts non-profit. She is also the Co-Founder of the Women’s Parkinson’s Project. Sree became committed to Parkinson’s Disease advocacy after attending the 2016 and 2019 World Parkinson Congress. Learn more about Sree here.
Connect with our ambassadors
We recognize that often the work to live well happens on a more intimate level. It happens in phone calls and on walks and over coffee, when we most need to connect with someone who really understands what we’re going through. Visit our Ambassadors page to connect with someone in your area or anyone you think you would connect well with, regardless of location.