Artists Overcoming Parkinson's Disease


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Mary Lee Prescott, a Native American artist learning to more effectively cope with Parkinson's Disease.

To enhance the quality of life of Native American artists & others diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease through health research & education.

Mary Lee Prescott is an elder member of the Oneida Indian Nation of Wisconsin who has pursued her passion for art since childhood, whether through painting, jewelry-making, or doll-making. Yet, in recent years, Mary has been struggling with the onset of Parkinson's Disease, which has limited her ability to do art.

In 2013, Mary enrolled in non-contact boxing program offered by Rock Steady Boxing Inc. (based in Indianapolis, Indiana) designed to addess the symptoms of Parkinson's. Mary is one of over 2,600 Native Americans in the U.S. diagnosed with Parkinson's. According to federal government study published in 2012, there is relatively little research on Native Americans afflicated with the disease. Additional research and education to address this would lead to better quality of care, and research that identifies new risk factors.

In light of this, the Woodlands Tribal Artists Association Inc. has been developing the Artist Overcoming Parkinson's Disease project, whose goal is to ehance the quality of life of Native American artists and others across the U.S. diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. To accomplish this goal, the project would entail the distribution of Parkinson's Disease educational materials (including but not limited materials addressing Parkinson's among Native Americans) at community events, along with a community health needs assessment of Native Americans and others to determine public awareness of evidence-based alternative therapies designed to address Parkinson's.

Contingent upon the level of funding and other resources, the project would mainly be implemented in October 2013, and last for at least a year. It would include prospective involvement of Native American communities initially in the eastern U.S.

The Association is committed to collaborating with Tribal organizations and an accredited university on the project, so as to ensure that it would be carried out in a culturally appropriate and ethical manner. While Native American artists are highlighted, the project is nevertheless an equal opportunity one, with collaboration also open to those who are not Native American.

All donations for the project through go to the Woodlands Tribal Artists Association Inc. and are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Thank you in advance for your support.

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Organization Information

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote a renaissance in eastern woodland Indian art and crafts.

EIN: 263399986

Reports: Guidestar

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