A Parkinson’s Disease Forum slated for Friday in Sonora will offer a wealth of information to the nearly 300 Tuolumne County residents who battle daily with the disease.

The event is the brainchild of Tuolumne residents Ron and Krishna Hamilton, who last year formed Peaceful Journey, The Ron and Krishna Hamilton Parkinson’s Foundation.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. People with the disease can suffer from numerous symptoms including tremors; difficulty with movement, walking and talking; insomnia; fatigue; cognitive changes and more.

Ron Hamilton, a fifth-generation Tuolumne County resident, principal of Gold Rush Charter School and president of the 29th District Agricultural Association/Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors, was diagnosed with the disease in 2016.

“Krishna and I started our foundation so that we could bring services … to Tuolumne County,” Ron Hamilton said. “My wife has just taken (the forum) and run with it.”

The Hamilton’s foundation has partnered with the University of California, San Francisco, Parkinson’s Disease Clinic and Research Center and the Parkinson’s Foundation to bring as much information as possible to local residents.

“When I was diagnosed, there was really no information locally,” Ron Hamilton said. “So Krishna called UCSF, and they loved the idea.”

Speaker Aaron Daley of the UCSF Parkinson’s Disease Clinic will be the featured speaker, and information on various products and services will be available.

A part of the event that Ron Hamilton said he’s really excited about is a presentation by Jerad Moss of Well Box Fitness in East Sonora. Moss has started offering a class designed just for Parkinson’s patients called Counterpunch.

“The work of boxing and doing certain movements allows the brain and body to work together,” Ron Hamilton said. “People who have taken this class have gone from barely being able to walk to having greater mobility. … It is so popular and has grown so much that he is going to have to expand.

A fundraiser organized by Peaceful Journey and sponsored by Leslie Heavy Haul in Sonora to help support the classes will be held April 6 at the Sonora Opera Hall.

Friday’s forum also will feature a speech therapist who specializes in Parkinson’s disease, presentations by community agencies and representatives from the Parkinson’s Foundation, and booths offering information on everything from support groups to dental products designed for Parkinson’s patients.

Friday’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sierra Bible Church, 15171 Tuolumne Road in Sonora. Lunch will be provided with RSVP to krishnaron@comcast.net or (209) 206-3071.

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