Fundraising Page for Cody Ledsworth

Date of Event: 5/15/2013
Location: Houghton Lake MI to Muskegon Lake, MI (216 miles)
Welcome to My PDF Champions Home Page:

My grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2002. After over 10 years with the disease, it has really started to take its toll; she can hardly speak or move on her own, and my grandfather has to spoon feed her and change her clothes for her. Seeing her like this recently really made me sad and I felt compelled to do something. I had already planned to kayak the Grand River for fun this summer so I thought why not do it as a fundraiser? However with recent flooding and the backing out of my friend, the Grand River is too dangerous for me to navigate alone. So I've switched to the Muskegon River, which is 36 miles shorter and slower flowing. The fundraiser won't be enough to save my own grandmother, but I hope it raises awareness and helps save future people afflicted with Parkinson's.

As a Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) Champion, I am working to raise funds to improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s and to ultimately find a cure.

Did you know that nearly one million people in the United States are living with Parkinson’s disease? I am organizing my PDF Champions event in honor of these individuals and their loved ones who are impacted each day by Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s disease is chronic neurological disease, for which there is currently no cure. But promising research is being conducted. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated over $90 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $37 million to support national education and advocacy programs.

Every donation really does make a difference in advancing PDF’s mission. Please help me reach my goal by making a donation today.

More than 81 percent of PDF’s funds go directly toward its programs. PDF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all gifts are tax deductible.

Thank you in advance for your support!
My Wall
5/22/2013Great job Cody. Thanks for letting Nathan tag along. He had a great time and his Uncle Carl appreciated it too!O'Neil Family
5/22/2013 Ledsworth
5/21/2013 Ledsworth
5/21/2013Cody, what you have done for your grandmother is awesome. She surely can feel the love. You have encouraged many others with this trip.!The O'Brien Family
5/21/2013I am so proud of you and what you are doing for your grandma and this cruel disease. I pray that this trip you have made will inspire other young people like you to get out there and make difference for someone they know and love. Maybe then we ill see an end to parkinsons in your lifetime. You are a hero, Cody. God bless you and others like you.diane clark
5/21/2013YOU SO ROCK CODE MAN!! I am so proud of you! I know Trevor really wished he was joining you on this amazing journey - next time!! Hope you had a great time and have wonderful memories! God Bless your Grandma!! Love you!Sue Stears
5/21/2013Today is the day! Some 200 miles of river and 6 days later, we expect Cody to arrive at his finish destination in Muskegon Lake at 1 PM. He made it into Muskegon County last night, but wants to sleep in a bit for the first time on this trip before he paddles across Muskegon Lake to his finish line at the boat launch next to Great Lakes Marina in Lakeside. He is exhausted but in great spirits, especially when he hears about the success of the fundraising as we near $2500, thanks to so many generous people! I have attached a couple of pictures that I took from the two times when I paddled with him for a bit. Also attached is one from the a week ago tomorrow when he departed from the Houghton Lake launch at M-55. Yesterday I joined him at the Maple Island Launch to paddle with him this last stretch and listen to his stories about the experience. He told me he saw every type of weather: thunderstorms, brutal sun, high wind, no wind, current and no current, etc. I heard about all of the wild life: deer, turkeys, five bald eagles, etc. He talked about the disappointment and failure he was feeling when just the second day of paddling on May 16, his kayak unexpectedly started taking on water through the rudder post. However, I think we all learned a great lesson from that experience! He pulled over to shore, used some rigging tape, a zip tie and a piece of garbage bag to make a repair that would hold just long enough to buy time to figure out a better solution. The solution would come from the team at KL Industries here in Muskegon. They enthusiastically called me and offered me one of their brand new SunQuest Aruba 12 SS kayaks! I got it up to him and it has been worked out incredibly! It is far more comfortable as well, which has made a big difference when you spend 14 hours a day for 6 straight days in it! A huge thank you to KL and ALL who have been so kind to donate any amount for this cause. THANK YOU ALL!!! He also talked about being ready for a hot shower and twelve hours in his own bed. I also shared a surprise with him yesterday that he has asked me to share with you. His grandma with Parkinson's that inspired this whole idea will be present today at his finish. My father is bringing my mother to see it as best she can. Hospice helps every day around 9:30 until 11 and then with their amazing help and support, he will get her in the car and come out to Muskegon from their home in Allendale. We invite anyone to join us at 1 PM to congratulate Cody for his dedication and diligence in doing whatever we all can to raise these valuable dollars for Parkinson's Disease research. — with Cody Ledsworth and 4 others. Jon Ledsworth
5/20/2013Watching on FB at what a young man you've become. Even though it might not help your grandma, what your doing will help others in the future! Good job, well done, and were proud of you!Jane & Bill Strecker
5/16/2013Thank you everyone for donating & encouraging Cody! The first day was a little slow - he went a little more than 15 miles. Lots of logs to navigate around. Today he went almost 25 miles. He should be able to go a little farther everyday! This has generated lots of excitement and Some people might go join him for the weekend! With such a great response he increased his goal to $2500! He has reached $1,055 already after only 2 days on the river!Ann Ledsworth
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Paddle Against Parkinson's