Rocker turned runner to raise funds for Parkinson's cure
HUNTERSVILLE — St. Mark parishioner Dave Haywood is an accomplished musician whose talents have given him the opportunity to perform with entertainers like Les Paul, Jon Bon Jovi and Chaka Khan.
On Nov. 4 he'll take another passion of his – running – and turn it into a tribute to his late father Robert Haywood Jr., who passed away from Parkinson's disease in 2006.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive, chronic disorder of the brain and nervous system that affects a person's movement. About 7 to 10 million people worldwide suffer from the degenerative disease, which causes tremors, slowed and increasingly stiff movement, and lack of balance.
Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease each year, and while there are treatment options to alleviate some of the symptoms, there is no cure.
Two people who have put a face on this disease in recent years are Blessed John Paul II, who died in 2005, and the American actor Michael J. Fox, who created a foundation to help spur medical research for a cure. To date, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded $297 million in research and has supported 51 clinical trials.
It is to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation that Haywood is running in the ING New York City Marathon in Manhattan.
The 26.2-mile course will be filled with more than 47,000 runners, among them people like Haywood, who are raising money to help find a cure for the disease that stole his father's life.
"Six years ago, shortly after running the 2005 NYC Marathon, I had a conversation with my dying father," Haywood said. "He had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1998 and championed the work of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. He thought the idea of running a marathon for Team Fox was an honorable idea and utilizing my public image and high-profile friends would help accumulate a significant amount of donations."
Haywood's Catholic faith also plays a part in his desire to find a cure for the disease.
"I was raised in the Catholic Church by very devout parents. They taught me that to be of strong body and mind it takes serious discipline. I strive to raise my children the same way...I was schooled by the Carmelite sisters at Our Lady Of Consolation in Wayne, N.J.
"My wife Marianne and I see St. Mark's (Church) as a strong faith community that supports its parishioners. We hope to grow in the parish as our children do, and as we are all servants, I feel it is an obligation to support worthy causes like Parkinson's disease. I hope to spread this message and be a role model to the community."
Haywood's goal is $5,000. He is already almost halfway there.
"I ask for your support towards finding a cure for Parkinson's disease," Haywood appealed.
A benefit will be held from 3 to 10 p.m. Sept. 30 at Howl at the Moon at the Epicentre in uptown Charlotte to raise funds for Team Fox. For more information or to donate, go to www.NYC4DAD.com.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy