Join us for a screening of this moving documentary of Michael Westphal’s battle with Parkinson’s Disease. All through high school and college, Michael was a competitive runner and routinely ran a four-minute mile. After college he continued to compete in long distance road races completing 14 marathons. As his family and professional responsibilities grew, he put aside running for twenty years.
At age 49, Michael was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Michael took medications to control his symptoms to the extent possible, and spent the next seven years concentrating on his work. Then, last year, he decided to take up running again. Although he knew that he could run short distances, he was surprised to learn that he had the endurance to run long distances as well. While Michael enjoyed reconnecting with a sport that had always brought him great joy, this time his running had the additional bonus of improving his Parkinson’s symptoms. “I have almost no symptoms and feel great when I’m running,” he says. “Even during the rest of the day, I feel much more normal than I did before.”
In fact, he felt so good that he decided to undertake a marathon. He began training—running up to 55 miles a week—for the 2015 “The Great Run” held each June on Great Cranberry Island where Michael has lived since he was a young boy.
Outrunning Parkinson’s documents Michael’s participation in “The Great Run” and provides insight into life with Parkinson’s. Following the film, Peter Logue, Michael Westphal, and Aric Rogers, Ph.D. will lead a discussion on raising awareness about Parkinson’s and current research efforts to develop more effective treatments for the disease.