Wilmington man's disease moves him to run for others

By Mellany Armstrong 6:45am, October 17, 2013 - Updated 9:56am, October 17, 2013
Parkinson's disease has taken many things from a Wilmington man, but not his will to help others by running.

WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

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"My stepson, Sean, decided to motivate the family to come out and raise some money for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation."

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His hands shake and he gets tired easily, but Gary Chard plans to run the 10K part of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. October 27, a feat for someone whose body has been attacked by Parkinson's.

"It has affected me by taking away a lot of my strength and my ability to stay focused on tasks that I'm trying to do," he said.

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Chard was inspired by his stepson, Sean, who ran the full marathon last year.

"So when he decided to do the 10K this year, I said, 'If you're going to put the team together, I'll do my best to train and run for it," Chard said.

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Parkinson's is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.

"I've been a runner in the past, but with the onset of Parkinson's, it really took away my ability to concentrate on running."

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Gary and his wife work to help others with the illness.

"We help local support groups and people with Parkinson's gain more information about the disease and treatments that are ongoing for it and research that's ongoing," Chard said.

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Team Chard hopes to raise $5,000 for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

"We have nine family members going to join us and participate in the run, including my granddaughter Aubrey from Atlanta, Georgia. She is 11," he said.

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To help Team Chard reach its goal, click here.

Local PD/Caregiver support groups meet at Newark Senior Center, first Thursday of the month from 10:15 a.m. to noon; Shipley Manor Senior Center, third Monday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and Christiana Care Hospital, third Thursday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can also email Gary at g195dude@yahoo.com or call 302-332-8791 for more information.

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