You may be hearing about famous architectures “lighting it up blue” or people “Taking 6” this month in honor of Autism and Parkinson’s Disease awareness month. Road Scholar Transport is not any different. With 53’ tractor trailers advertising both causes, Road Scholar travels the country, not just for the month of April, but all throughout the year spreading awareness.
Light it Up Blue
Since 2010, Autism Speaks (founded in 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, growing to become the largest autism science and advocacy organization in the nation) launched its Light it Up Blue campaign to help celebrate April 2nd’s World Autism Awareness Day.
Striking participation around the world, the Light it Up Blue campaign encourages companies, landmarks, and individuals to show their support by shining a blue light in their home or on their building, by decking out their website, social media pages or phone with the light it up blue logo, spreading awareness by distributing information on autism and the campaign, fundraising and donating, or simply wearing blue.
Some of the most famous buildings and landmarks that have lit it up blue include:
- The Empire State Building
- Rockefeller Center
- Fenway Park
- Universal Studios
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Niagara Falls
- Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer Statue
- Australia’s Sydney Opera House
- Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi, India
- Mackinaw Bridge, Michigan
- Great Buddha at Hyogo in Kobe, Japan
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Eiffel Tower
- Benjamin Franklin Bridge – and many more
Autism is a complex developmental brain disorder affecting 1 in 36 children, with boys being four times more likely to have the disorder than girls, according to the CDC.
Causes of autism are unknown but there are warning signs that may indicate the disorder. These include:
- No happy expressions within six months of age.
- Lack of communication expressions between them and others by nine months of age.
- No babbling or communication gestures between them and others by a year old.
- Does not talk by 16 months or have two-word meaningful phrases by 24 months.
Symptoms usually last throughout the individual’s lifetime and may include communication problems, repeating actions such as flapping of the arms or not moving at all, and becoming more vulnerable to other conditions such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, pica, or genetic disorders.
There is currently no cure.
Road Scholar Transport’s autism awareness trucks were created in collaboration with Bob and Suzanne Wright, along with the Autism Speaks Foundation. These trucks not only have been traveling our nation’s roads delivering freight but making special appearances at events across the nation including an appearance at Dover International Speedway.
To learn more about autism visit www.autismspeaks.org.
The “Take 6 for PD” references Parkinson’s Disease being diagnosed every 6 minutes in the US. A time to take 6 minutes to help spread awareness.
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder often diagnosed in men and women over the age of 60. Common symptoms include tremors, slow movements, limb rigidity, and gait and balance problems, with early symptoms including loss of smell and handwriting that continuously gets smaller as time goes on.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Parkinson’s affects over 1 million people in the US, with approximately 90,000 Americans being diagnosed each year.
Age-Risk of Parkinson’s disease increases with age with very few individuals being diagnosed before the age of 50.
Gender-Parkinson’s is one and a half times more common in men than women. (1)
Genetics-An individual’s risk increases if a close relative has the disease but 85-90% of cases are of “unknown” cause.
Toxin exposure-Those exposed to carbon monoxide and other chemicals are at a greater risk.
Medications-Certain medications, such as antipsychotics, can increase risk.
Parkinson’s disease is generally diagnosed by a physical examination and analysis of symptoms, which is why it is important to remind your loved ones and yourself to get checked. That’s what Road Scholar Transport is doing with our Parkinson’s awareness truck.
Road Scholar Transport was approached in 2011 by retired Attorney Joseph Coviello, the President of the NEPA Parkinson’s Foundation for which he too has been diagnosed with the disease. Joseph was familiar with Road Scholar’s awareness campaign and inquired about adding another truck to the initiative dedicated to spreading awareness for Parkinson’s disease.
Working with the NEPA Parkinson’s Foundation, Allied Rehab (where Joseph receives his therapy), and John Heinz, Road Scholar quickly got to work developing a new trailer.
Labeled “Stand Up and Fight Parkinson’s,” due to the trouble many patients with the disorder have with walking, the white trailer features the silhouettes of a man and a woman fighting their condition.
The Stand Up and Fight Parkinson’s trailer was first featured on August 17th, 2011 at Allied Rehab where it underwent a photo shoot with the center’s physical therapists.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, however, medication, physical therapy, exercise, and good eating habits can help reduce/prevent symptoms.
For more information, visit Road Scholar’s awareness campaign and together we can Stand Up and Fight Parkinson’s.
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