An interview with Laura Louizos from the Coleen Cunningham Foundation for PSP Awareness on September 5, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Can you provide a brief overview of your background?
My name is Laura Louizos, from Ontario, Canada. I have a foundation in sales and marketing. Volunteering and championing causes that I am passionate about have always been at the forefront of my pursuits. In fact, as a young individual, I volunteered by playing the role of McGruff, the crime prevention dog. I founded my first non-profit organization as a teenager.
Could you elaborate more on your organization?
Our organization is the “Coleen Cunningham Foundation for PSP Awareness.” It was established in remembrance of my mother, Coleen, who suffered from PSP and sadly passed away in May 2019. Since December 2022, we have been recognized as a federal non-profit, and our primary objective is to extend support to others on this challenging journey.
What drives your passion, especially concerning Parkinson’s awareness and the hope for its cure?
Collaborating with entities and individuals that resonate with our mission is something I deeply value. My fervor for assisting others was further fueled after the loss of my mother to PSP, which prompted me to commit myself fully to this cause.
What aspirations do individuals with Parkinson’s have when they collaborate with you?
They seek a nurturing environment of support, valuable resources, and a secure space for open communication.
Could you elaborate on the training you offer and its duration?
We provide both in-person and online support groups. Additionally, we run an assistive device exchange initiative where individuals can donate tools to those in need on this path. All our programs can be found on our website.
How does your program impact those living with Parkinson’s?
With support and resources and fundraising for research.
What do you envision for the future of your programs?
Our aspiration is to establish hospice care homes tailored specifically for those with atypical Parkinsonism, a vision we term “Coleen’s Hospice Care Home Project.”
Which events are you associated with?
I’ve been orchestrating and participating in PSP Awareness walks globally since 2020. Furthermore, we’re in the early stages of launching local awareness campaigns at regional malls and community hubs.
How does your initiative benefit the caregivers?
Our platform extends comprehensive support and resources for caregivers, ensuring they’re equipped at every phase of this journey.
How can someone reach out? And what is your website’s URL?
To learn more or get involved, you can visit our website at pspawareness.com
How can individuals champion and promote awareness?
There are numerous opportunities both locally and remotely that allow individuals to propagate awareness and offer support. Detailed information is available on our website, or one can directly get in touch with us.
Lastly, if you were to encapsulate your message to the Parkinson’s community in a single statement or quote, what would it be?
“No One Walks Alone!”