Larry Gifford from PD Avengers

An interview with Larry Gifford from PD Avengers on August 31, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.





Larry Gifford, 51, is a seasoned storyteller and radio professional who was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease in August 2017. In 2018, he launched his podcast, “When Life Gives You Parkinson’s,” as he couldn’t find a patient perspective podcast that resonated with him. His vast experience in the radio industry and his innate storytelling abilities made him realize that his search for the perfect podcast was a sign to create his own.


In 2020, Larry was inspired by the book “Ending Parkinson’s Disease” and organized a series of Zoom calls to discuss the book’s concepts with others during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to the formation of The PD Avengers, a global coalition that is focused on taking action to end Parkinson’s Disease. Larry, along with Soania and Tim, incorporated the “Global Coalition to End Parkinson’s Disease Association” with the dba “PD Avengers” in the Fall of 2020.


Through his podcast and his work with The PD Avengers, Larry is dedicated to sharing his experience with Parkinson’s Disease, raising awareness about the disease, and advocating for research and solutions that will help end Parkinson’s Disease.



Please tell me a little about your background.



My career as a news and sports anchor, program director and radio consultant has taken my wife, Rebecca, our son Henry and me across the United States and into Canada with stops in Dayton, OH, Philadelphia, Los Angeles (twice), Columbus, OH (twice), Bristol, CT, Seattle, WA, and now Vancouver, BC. Currently, I’m the National Director of Talk Radio for Corus Entertainment and host of the podcast “When Life Gives You Parkinson’s.”

President, Co-Founder PD Avengers

Host, When Life Gives You Parkinson’s Podcast

Host, Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s Podcast

Ambassador, World Parkinson Congress 2023 in Barcelona

Editorial Board, Journal of Parkinson’s Disease

Keynote Speaker and Panelist

Invited Participant, World Health Organization Workshop: Addressing the Public Health Importance of Parkinson’s Disease


Can you tell me more about your advocacy?


PD Avengers is more than a name; it’s a movement, a commitment, and a promise. Together, we are not just addressing Parkinson’s; we are leading the way towards its eradication. We invite you to join us, to become a part of this exciting journey, and to stand with the PD Avengers in our relentless pursuit of a Parkinson’s-free future. PD Avengers is a patient-led organization, united in the purpose of ending Parkinson’s disease. We raise awareness, engagement, and hope.


For PD Avengers, a “Think Global, Act Local” philosophy reflects our belief that change starts with individual action but grows through collective effort. It’s how PD Avengers is building a future without Parkinson’s, one community at a time.


Our influence grows with our membership, extending to international bodies and reaching into often overlooked territories.


By unifying a global community, representing those affected by this condition at key forums, and fostering urgency and collaboration, PD Avengers stands as a catalyst for change in the landscape of this significant health challenge.




PD Avengers


This non-profit organization is a global alliance of people with Parkinson’s, our partners and friends, standing together demanding change in how the disease is seen and treated.

We add urgency to the cause of ending Parkinson’s disease focusing on supporting people with Parkinson’s and other PD organizations through wellness, advocacy, and research collaborations.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


My passion is communication and storytelling. I’ve worked in radio for more than 30 years. I became an advocate when I started sharing my diagnosis and launched the podcast “When Life Gives You Parkinson’s.”


Symptoms can be treated and can improve. Therapists are miracle workers. Seek out help from psychological counseling to physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Seeking “help” is not a weakness. It’s not giving up. It’s not cheating. Rather, it’s about building a team of support systems around you so you can live happily with PD doing the things you love to do.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?


I believe most people who are involved in organizations that are important to them personally, the drive is about being a part of something greater than yourself.


What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?


Our vision is “ending Parkinson’s.” In cooperation with the authors of the new book Ending Parkinson’s, a small international working group is plotting how our Parkinson’s community can raise enough awareness to build urgency around PD that pushes all stakeholders to the conclusion that we must end Parkinson’s. It’s a big mission and we’re going to need everyone to help drive this campaign – persons with Parkinson’s, spouses and family members living with someone who has Parkinson’s, the medical professionals, health professionals, scientists, lawmakers, and more. For now, I recommend you read the book Ending Parkinson’s.


What events do you participate in?


World Parkinson’s Congress, Michael J. Fox Foundation.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website? ,


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?

“We are stronger together.”





Michael J. Fox Foundation (2022). Patient Council- Larry Gifford.  Retrieved from


PD Avengers (2023). Larry Gifford-Cofounder. Retrieved from