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Former Chicago Bears Team up with the Paul Ruby Foundation to Tackle Parkinson’s Disease

Players involved with the project include John Janata, Bob Wetoska, Chuck Brown, Glen Kozlowski, Keith Van Horne, Shaun Gayle, Tom Hicks, Tom Waddle, Bob Asher, Ed O’Bradovich, Tom Thayer and Bob Thomas.

Several former Bears, including players from the NFL 1963 World Championship team and the 1985 Super Bowl championship team, have offered to get involved with a public service announcement being developed to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and the efforts of the Paul Ruby Foundation.

Paul Ruby, general manager of the Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva, and Ed McCaskey of the Chicago Bears family cultivated a friendship after both were diagnosed with the degenerative neurological disease.

When Paul reached out to McCaskey to enlist the help of the Bears recently, a request letter was drafted and mailed to former Bears players living in the Chicago area. Within the first few days following the mailing, 12 players agreed to be filmed. 

“I appreciate that so many of the former players are joining us to work towards a cure forParkinson’s”, said McCaskey.

The project is expected to be completed prior to the foundation’s 5th annual Concert for a Cure on Aug. 27 at in Geneva.

The promotional public service announcement will be used on the Internet in different capacities, to increase awareness of the importance of coming together as a community, and the impact the community has toward finding a cure. In the video, the former Bears players will provide a fun and informational twist on information disseminated by the foundation regularly, drawing in more supporters from among the Chicagoland area.

Northwestern Hospital’s media relations department and Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center is working with the foundation to help develop the public service announcement with the former Bears. The foundation supports research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital andthe PSA will be used to promote the good work being done there as well.

“We are impressed by the support and willingness of the Bears to raise awareness of Parkinson’s,and we are very excited about the project,” says Ruby.

Players involved with the project include John Janata, Bob Wetoska, Chuck Brown, Glen Kozlowski, Keith Van Horne, Shaun Gayle, Tom Hicks, Tom Waddle, Bob Asher, Ed O’Bradovich, Tom Thayer and Bob Thomas.

Keith Van Horne of the 1985 Bears Super Bowl team is involved with the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

“I believe that all of these diseases—MS, Parkinson’s, ALS- may have some sort of connection, and if we can make a breakthrough with one, we may be able to make breakthroughs with the others,” said Van Horne regarding the efforts of the Paul Ruby Foundation.

In addition to the Bears, executive director of the Paul Ruby Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Dawn Vogelsberg, and Ruby will explain how what the foundation is doing at the community level to make an impact on a global issue. 

More than one million Americans are afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, making it the secondmost common neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s. The Paul Ruby Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has donated $300,000 toward Parkinson’s research in its first four years and plans on donating $100,000 in 2011 to a research project at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center.

Contact Dawn Vogelsberg at dawn@paulrubyfoundation.org for more information about how to get involved with upcoming events.

Alyson Antonio January 06, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Hey Keith. How have you been these past 25 years? You probably don't even remember me but we saw "Purple Rain" together. Anyway, just surfing around you never know what you'll find. Thought I'd say hi and glad to see you're doing well. Alyson Antonio

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