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June 18, 2010 by David Gillaspie

If you have something to say, how do you say it?  Shout it from the mountain top? 

Who do you say it to?

The person walking down the street talking to themselves is either on a hands free phone, or taking babbling lessons.  Sometimes it’s hard to say which. 

If you have a cause, how can you make it a universal cause?   

It’s always nice to recruit a big donor to a cause, even nicer if they have big-time friends. 

The University of Oregon has Phil Knight of Nike and his trusted friend Pat Kilkenny.  Through their efforts the university has made huge strides.  There’s been a few mistakes, like quitting on UO wrestling, but they’ve brought so much to the Eugene school it’s hard to fault them.

Brian Grant is bringing some heavy hitters to Portland, Oregon to support The Brian Grant Foundation on Parkinson’s Disease at 

How heavy?

Muhammad Ali.

Michael J. Fox.

Pat Riley.

That’s lots of heavy.  And lots of Parkinson’s.

Why the focus on Parkinson’s?  Maybe you know the answer.  If not, here’s a clue: three out of the four men have Parkinson’s.

From the outside, Parkinson’s might get lost in the world of diseases looking for help.  The casual witness sees Parkinson’s as a minor affliction, but they are wrong.  How wrong?

From my vantage point as a family caregiver for my Parkinson’s father-in-law, it is everything but minor.  It’s more than a tremor, but that’s what shows.  Every external manifestation of Parkinson’s has the same effect internally.  If there’s a muscle that can shake Parkinson’s will shake it, from walking to swallowing, from head to toe.

That’s the bad news. 

The good news is the sort of people who rally for Parkinson’s.

If you don’t have a recognizable name can you still make a difference?  That’s the challenge ahead of two young men working to bring attention to Autism.

Two local guys, and best friends, Sammy Carlson and Scott Rowley will ride bicycles from Hood River, Oregon to Ogden, Utah to bring awareness to Autism.  1000 miles in ten days.  Here’s what it is, (from their page):

“This fund-raiser has been motivated by a strong desire to do something positive for our community and help families affected by autism in the state of Oregon,” said Rowley.  Rowley and Carlson both have family friends that have been affected by autism and view this as an opportunity to help.  All proceeds will benefit TACA, enable them to set up a chapter of their organization in Oregon and continue helping families affected by this neurological disorder.
Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides support, education, information, and resources to over 16,000 families across the United States effected by autism.  One in every 91 children in the United States is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.  TACA provides the largest national telephone and email response team for parents who have a child affected by autism. 95 percent of TACA’s programs and services are provided at no cost to parents.  They include education and support meetings, parent mentoring, and the Autism Journey Guide.  TACA aims to speed up the cycle time from the autism diagnosis to effective treatments.  TACA helps to strengthen the autism community by connecting families and the professionals who can help them, allowing them to share stories and information to help people with autism.

Additional information is available at  

For information regarding sponsorship and support please contact Scott Rowley or visit!

Scott Rowley
H2O Event Manager
Phone: (503) 860-0698

So many people suffer in dignified silence when stricken by life changing diseases.  Some do so because they feel they don’t have a voice, some are robbed of their voice.  When you speak up for Parkinson’s or Autism, remember who is listening. 

When others speak up, lend an ear.  Then join up.  Climb that mountain together.


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