Port Kent duo to "Paddle for a Cure"

PORT KENT Cherie Crowningshield is planning a true adventure in order to raise funds and awareness for Parkinsons disease. Along with co-worker Paul Dickerson, Crowningshield will be making a visit to New York City, only their trip will be on waves instead of roads. Together they will take a ten-day journey down Lake Champlain and the Hudson River in kayaks, paddling their way nearly 300 miles to the Statue of Liberty as part of an event they call Paddle for a Cure. Ive wanted to do it for a while, Crowningshield said, but the trip took on a new purpose after her father, Malcom, was diagnosed with Parkinsons six years ago. Parkinson's disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that often causes involuntary muscle movements such as tremors, slow movement, and rigidity. The disease effects one in every 100 people over the age of 60. As employees of Mountain Lake Services, Parkinsons is prevalent among many of the people that Crowningshield and Dickerson work with on a daily basis. The two of them will launch from Port Kent on July 12 and paddle roughly 30 miles each day, making stops along the way to speak with people about Parkinsons. They plan to camp outdoors for several of the nights, avoiding the costs of lodging. Both admit that its an enormous undertaking and longer than any kayak voyage that either have ever tried before. I know that its going to be tough, said Crowningshield, and I have respect for the water. Still, she said, doing it for her dad will be source of motivation. The duo will be joined by other paddlers for portions of the trip including dozens of kayakers who have offered to accompany them through the home stretch of New York City Harbor. They credit fellow kayak enthusiast Lee Riser with organizing the group, which is expected to number between 50 and 200. Crowningshield said her goal is to raise funds and especialy awareness of the disease. At least 90 cents of every dollar donated to Paddle for a Cure will be contributed to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research. Some people think we cant do it, Crowningshield said, but some people think that people with Parkinsons cant do a lot of things either. She hopes that this trip will change perspective on both counts. Those wishing to contribute to their cause can visit their website at www.paddleforacure.org.

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