“Spark”-ing awareness for World Parkinson’s Day

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Each year, World Parkinson’s Day (April 11) serves as a global day of recognition and awareness building for Parkinson’s. This year, the Global Alliance to End Parkinson’s Disease (Also known as PD Avengers) is working to help bring additional attention to Parkinson’s through a unified brand and logomark – The “Spark.” 

“The who’s who of Parkinson’s combine forces under a new symbol to keep the disease top of mind for everyone,” says Larry Gifford, founder of Global Alliance to End Parkinson’s Disease. “The Spark is intended to electrify a powerful movement changing how all of us think about this disease. We want to break the stigma around Parkinson’s. We’re leading a louder call to fund medical breakthroughs. And together – we’re striving to put Parkinson’s in the past.” 

As a PD Avengers partner organization, the Davis Phinney Foundation is proud to take part in raising global awareness on World Parkinson’s Day and every day. 

“Awareness, health literacy, and community support are just as critical to our mission of helping people with Parkinson’s live well today as they are to ultimately ending Parkinson’s. We stand in solidarity with the call to increase advocacy, reduce stigma, and change the way people live with Parkinson’s,” says Polly Dawkins, Executive Director, Davis Phinney Foundation.

One of the unique elements of this new WPD Day brand is an encouragement to take The Spark symbol and make it your own, celebrating the uniqueness of every person living with Parkinson’s. So, we invited our Ambassadors to make their own creative interpretations using The Spark as a jumping-off point and, in fact, you can do the same! Read on to see some of the writing, art, and more our Ambassadors created. Finally, make sure to visit the new World Parkinson’s Day website to learn more about how you can participate.  

“What sparks you to live well?” 

JILL ATER, Tacoma, Washington (and the world!)

My “spark” to keep fighting Parkinson’s is our desire to travel and inspire others, who believe, wrongly, that they can’t travel internationally with Parkinson’s. My husband Alan and I have over 1000 followers on Instagram and Facebook who enjoy our world adventures virtually. 

Kerry Howard, Juneau, AK: 

Kerry designed artwork based on The Spark symbol. 


Julie Fitzgerald, Austin, TX: 

Julie wrote a poem with The Spark as inspiration.


I am the flint and Parkinson’s is the stone

When the stone strikes the flint, it releases a tiny little spark

My mission as an advocate is to gently fan the spark

Until it reaches its full potential and becomes a flame

My flame will burn so brightly other flames will join me

Together we can set the Parkinson’s world on fire and change the world

Be the spark that ignites the world around you to join together as one brightly burning flame

I can be the spark that starts 

the chain reaction and changes

the world of Parkinson’s

Don’t hide your spark

let it shine brightly

for all the world to see

the face of Parkinson’s


Joe van Koeverden, Peterborough, Ontario, CA: 

Joe designed and printed shirts using The Spark as inspiration. 



Tom Cosentino, Ocean View, DE: 

Hear Tom share what The Spark means to him. 




Learn more about World Parkinson’s Day at worldparkinsonsday.com


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