Many of us, through family or friends, have some personal connection to Parkinson’s disease. But everyone in Louisville is connected to Parkinson’s through Muhammad Ali, the boxing champion and renowned activist who died from the disease last year.
As part of the commemorative “I Am Ali” festival, the National Parkinson Foundation is hosting Louisville’s first Moving Day Walk for Parkinson’s on Saturday at the Brown-Forman Amphitheater at Waterfront Park.
The event will not only feature a walk but will have fitness instruction for those affected by Parkinson’s, such as yoga and “Rock Steady Boxing.” There also will be food trucks, live music, activities for kids and more.
Rasheda Ali-Walsh, Muhammad Ali’s daughter, will be a special guest at Moving Day. John Ramsey, an Ali family friend, will present Ali-Walsh with an award for Muhammad Ali’s Life and Legacy to the Parkinson’s community.
In a press release, Ali-Walsh said her father always had a message to those with Parkinson’s.
“He encouraged everyone fighting this disease to never lose faith and never stop living each day to the fullest extent possible,” she said. “I wish all who find themselves part of this courageous battle much luck, and I send them my gratitude and love.”
Muhammad Ali announced in 1984 that he had Parkinson’s disease. This was 20 years after he was first crowned Heavyweight Champion of the World, when he defeated Sonny Liston against 7-1 odds. After his retirement from boxing, he continued his service across multiple areas, including civil rights.
The “I Am Ali” festival celebrates Ali’s achievements, legacy and activism. It spans six weeks and began June 3 — one year after his passing. It continues through July 15. Moving Day Louisville is just one of the events taking place.
Registration is available online or at the Moving Day event, and attendees can register to be part of a team or as individuals. The goal is to raise money for Louisville families affected by Parkinson’s disease.
Moving Day Louisville will be held from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at the Brown-Forman Amphitheater at Waterfront Park. The walk begins at noon.