RUGBY, N.D. (KXNET) — A Washington man is making his way to Minnesota in a tractor all for a good cause — to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease.
Now, he’s in North Dakota.
May 15 marked the day Mike Adkinson started his journey. He started in Bellingham, Washington, and is trucking down Highway 2 with his John Deere tractor to Perch Lake, Minnesota.
Going only a mere 15 miles per hour, he plans to end his journey on June 25. But why would someone want to do such a thing?
Adkinson’s brother, Dan, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last year, and that inspired him to do something to help raise awareness for the incurable disease.
“As we all know, Parkinson’s is very difficult in the family because you don’t know what you can do to help. So, I thought ‘by golly, I think I could get donations for the American Parkinson’s Disease Association.’ It’s a journey of passion, of love and wanting to do something about Parkinson’s,” said Adkinson.
So far, he has raised about $46,000 out of a $50,000 goal for the APDA.
Adkinson says that he has met a lot of amazing people along his journey and is grateful for all of them.
“I am just tickled by the way people have responded to this. This has been a huge team effort. Even my high school classmates from 1964 and 63, they all got involved,” he added.
Along with other businesses, Gooseneck Implement has helped him along his journey, giving him free services and a donation of $750.
The money was given to the APDA from Gooseneck Wednesday, thanks to Adkinson’s efforts to raise awareness.
“We just really believe in what he’s doing. We have a lot of people within the company that Parkinson’s has really affected them and their families and we were in the position to help out, being as he is operating a John Deere tractor, so it was a perfect opportunity for us to give back to a really great cause,” said McKensie Popinga, the Gooseneck Implement marketing manager.
North Dakota has one of the highest rates of Parkinson’s disease in the United States.
Experts say that people living in agricultural states are more prone to PD due to exposure to chemicals.
Parkinson’s is a slow, deadly killer. That’s why more research and awareness are needed to treat this disease and hopefully, one day, find a cure
Adkinson made it to Rugby today and will continue on his journey tomorrow.
To donate, head to the American Parkinson Disease Association website and find Adkinson’s “Tractor Trip” fundraiser.