UNMC Holds Skate-a-thon For Parkinson's


UNMC is hosting a 24-hour skate-a-thon from 5 p.m. Friday through 5 p.m. Saturday in support of Parkinson's research.

Hundreds of skaters are expected to come to the UNMC ice rink this weekend for the third annual UNMC Skate-a-thon for Parkinson's. The event is open to the public – skaters and non-skaters alike. The cost to participate is $10 per skater or $40 for a family.

The even will be held at the UNMC Ice Rink, just east of 42nd Street and midway between Dewey Avenue and Emile Street.

The skate-a-thon is the idea of an Omaha couple, Ted and Colleen Wuebben, who hosted their own skate-a-thon for three years by flooding their back yard. Two years ago, to grow the event to a larger scale, the event was moved to the UNMC ice rink. Colleen was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2005 at the age of 52. Her physician, John Bertoni, M.D., is a UNMC neurologist.

Activities planned include a tricycle race on the ice involving prominent UNMC employees, special renditions of "Thriller" and "Gangnam Style," a dance party on ice, a pajama skate and a skivvy skate

Proceeds from the event will go toward the clinical research of Dr. Bertoni and the basic research of Howard Gendelman, M.D., chairman of the department of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience. The Wuebbens also will direct some of proceeds to allow people to participate in the PHD Program (Parkinson's Health Development), a local program that offers affordable exercises and activities to improve the quality of life for persons with Parkinson's.

Skaters and non-skaters can register online or make a pledge at Walk-in registration also will be available at the event.

All skaters must complete a waiver releasing UNMC from liability should injury occur.