Parkinson’s and parachutes

Kevin Burkart of Prior Lake, jumped out of an airplane 100 times in one day back in 2008, to call attention to the need for Parkinson’s disease research, honoring his father, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1999. Two years later — 2008 — he jumped out 200 times for the cause.

This year, he wanted to jump 300 times, but that plan has been scuttled for another year.

In early March, Burkart was seriously hurt in a snowmobile accident in northern Minnesota. “He broke numerous bones including 4 vertebrae and suffered serious nerve damage in his left arm,” his website says.

The 300 jumps plan has been delayed now until next June.

Meanwhile, on the research front, there is exciting news today. A researcher in Tel Aviv reports he’s developed a “peptide,” which mimics a gene’s normal function, protecting dopamine- producing neurons. It could be a therapy to reduce the effects of Parkinson’s.

“It can mean the difference between living life as a Parkinson’s patient or aging normally,” the researcher says.

  • CHS

    300 jumps in one day…. assuming they keep the day to 24 hours, that’s 12.5 jumps an hour. How is that even physically possible given the time it takes to get up to altitude then float down? I thought 200 was amazing.

    I definitely need to call my dad more often….