Skaters will be taking to the ice for a great cause in Omaha starting today. This is the fifth Annual UNMC Skate-a-thon for Parkinson’s. The event is held in memory of founder, Colleen Wuebben who died in 2013 at age 60. She and her husband, Ted started the event in their back yard.
Wuebben says they always flooded the back yard in the winter as a way to get their kids outside and enjoy skating. He says when Colleen was diagnosed in 2005 they wanted to do something to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and for three years they held the event in their own yard before moving it to the rink at UNMC.
Wuebben says, “One of the things that researchers found out is that exercise is one of the things you can do that can help along with your medicine. There weren’t a lot of classes around so my wife, when she got Parkinson’s said we’re going to set up some exercise classes and we need to know how to pay for it. Now we have Parkinson’s Nebraska. We have grown from one and two classes. We are now doing 28 a month we sponsor throughout the city. Now we moved out to Lincoln, Grand Island and Kearney.”
Proceeds also go toward clinical and basic science for Parkinson’s research at UNMC.
The Skate-a-thon for Parkinson’s starts at 2 p.m. today at the UNMC’s ice rink at 42nd and Dewey Street. The registration fee includes skate rental and it is a 24 hour event. Activities include games, a dance party, a pajama skate, yoga, line dancing and more. Everyone is invited to participate. Donations can also be made at parkinsonsnebraska.org.