NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The 22nd Parkinson’s Unity Walk takes place this Saturday in Central Park. This gentle 1.4 mile walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the 72nd Street bandshell.

In an interview in the Adorama Live Theater, Maryum “May May” Ali, the daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, tells 1010 WINS’ Sharon Barnes-Waters that her father was in his late 30s, early 40s when they began to notice some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

May May Ali and Her Dad

Maryum “May May” Ali and her father Muhammad Ali (credit: Maryum “May May Ali)

“Doctors thought it was just the normal punch drunkenness that a lot of boxers gets,” Maryum said, adding as a result, her father was misdiagnosed for about five to seven years.

Back then even the best doctors didn’t have a lot of the information that is now available regarding Parkinson’s disease.

“If my dad had something like a Unity Walk when he was first diagnosed, he wouldn’t have felt so alone,” she went on to say.

May May was joined by Carol Walton, CEO of the Parkinson Alliance. She said “one of the most important messages we are still trying to get out is that if you think you are diagnosed, you absolutely must go to see a Movement Disorder Specialist, not just a neurologist.” They have two more years of training in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and the type of treatment that they will recommend will make all the difference in the treatment of the disease.

Carol Walton and Maryum "May May" Ali at the Adorama Live Theater on April 22, 2016. (credit: CBS New York)

Carol Walton and Maryum “May May” Ali at the Adorama Live Theater on April 22, 2016. (credit: CBS New York)

In addition to raising awareness and funds for research, the Unity Walk is also a day of community and education.

You can visit informational booths, which will include healthcare experts and meet with representatives from sponsors and foundations sharing information and resources with members of the Parkinson’s community.

Walkers need to register but if you just want to attend and get free information and advice from doctors, there’s no need to register.

For more information about the event, call 866-789-9255 or visit their website:


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