New for 2020: Sidekicks® Program Expands Opportunities for Parkinson’s Disease Community to Build Positive Connections Through Intergenerational Storysharing

Lundbeck, the Davis Phinney Foundation and Collaborating Partners Cultivate Creativity to Educate Youth, Promote Understanding of Parkinson’s and Build Community Connections

Deerfield, Ill., January 23, 2020 – Building on positive community response, Lundbeck, the Davis Phinney Foundation and collaborating partners are excited to announce the expansion of Sidekicks®, an intergenerational program that brings together youth and people with Parkinson’s to share their stories in fun and imaginative ways. New live programs and additional online community resources headline exciting offerings in 2020.

Now in its third year, Sidekicks pairs adult and youth participants to work together on art projects with a variety of opportunities for creative expression that help participants learn new things and gain insights into one another’s experiences. Sidekicks is presented by Lundbeck and the Davis Phinney Foundation in collaboration with the American Parkinson Disease Association, Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson & Movement Disorder Alliance (PMDAlliance) and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

“It is an honor to continue building Sidekicks with Parkinson’s community leaders and offer a growing number of ways people can engage with program activities,” said Charise Dunn, Senior Manager, Advocacy and Patient Support at Lundbeck. “Sidekicks underscores the Lundbeck commitment to not only deliver innovative treatments for people with Parkinson’s, but also to create programs focused on bringing the community together to support overall brain health so every person can be their best.”

New for Sidekicks in 2020

  • Expanding live Sidekicks programs into new locations, which include: Abilene, Texas; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia; and Tucson, Ariz. Details about how to register and participate are available at Care partners are welcome to join the fun, as well.
  • Offering new opportunities to participate in Sidekicks Anytime, a program extension designed for people and their care partners to enjoy a Sidekicks project from anywhere, anytime. Learn more about how to participate in Sidekicks remotely here or at

Demonstrated Impact

Sidekicks arose out of an identified need to address the isolation that many people with Parkinson’s experience. According to initial survey data presented at the 5th World Parkinson Congress (WPC) in 2019, Sidekicks participants with Parkinson’s reported a significant increase in social connectedness after the program. They also reported feeling less social isolation after participating in the program. In addition, Sidekicks youth participants reported more positive attitudes regarding people with Parkinson’s and more positive attitudes regarding interacting with people with Parkinson’s.Additional data presentations will follow in the future.

“We’re thrilled with Sidekicks as a way of bringing people with Parkinson’s together with youth participants to create new community connections,” said Kayla Ferguson, Sidekicks Program Manager at the Davis Phinney Foundation. “We’ve found Sidekicks has enabled people with Parkinson’s and youth alike to thrive, have a lot of fun and create extremely special, memorable moments along the way.”

About Parkinson’s

Approximately 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with Parkinson’s, a long-term and progressive brain disease associated with a loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells (neurons) deep inside the brain. Dopamine is a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals in the brain to produce smooth and purposeful movement, and the loss of dopamine can cause impaired movement. The average age of onset for Parkinson’s is 60 years, and the incidence rises with age; however, it is estimated up to 10 percent of people with Parkinson’s have early-onset disease that begins before age 50.2

Parkinson’s is classified as a movement disorder, and the four main symptoms are tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability.2 While the effects of Parkinson’s on movement are often the most visible symptoms, non-motor features of Parkinson’s, like emotional and cognitive challenges, can significantly affect health-related quality of life.3 About 1 in 5 people with Parkinson’s disease experience lightheadedness or a faint feeling after standing or sitting up.4 This is a symptom of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension, or nOH, a condition that is related to the body’s inability to quickly regulate blood pressure.4 Other common non-motor symptoms that may affect people with Parkinson’s include: disturbances in their sense of smell; sleep problems; depression and anxiety; and fatigue.5

About Davis Phinney Foundation

The Davis Phinney Foundation was created in 2004 by Olympic medalist and retired professional cyclist, Davis Phinney, to help people with Parkinson’s live well today. As a national leader of quality of life research, the organization’s singular focus is to provide programs and resources that offer inspiration, information and tools that enable people living with Parkinson’s to take action that can immediately improve their quality of life. Through The Victory Summit® event series, Every Victory Counts® manual, Ambassador program, extensive online content and now Sidekicks, the organization impacts hundreds of thousands of individuals each year. For more information, visit

About Lundbeck

Lundbeck is a global pharmaceutical company specializing in brain diseases. For more than 70 years, we have been at the forefront of neuroscience research. We are tirelessly dedicated to restoring brain health, so every person can be their best.

An estimated 700 million people worldwide are living with brain diseases and far too many suffer due to inadequate treatment, discrimination, a reduced number of working days, early retirement and other unnecessary consequences. Every day, we strive for improved treatment and a better life for people living with brain diseases – we call this Progress in Mind.

Our approximately 5,000 employees in more than 50 countries are engaged in the entire value chain of research, development, production, marketing and sales. Our pipeline consists of several R&D programs and our products are available in more than 100 countries. We have research centers in Seattle, Denmark and California and production facilities in Denmark, France and Italy. 

In the U.S., Lundbeck employs more than 900 people focused solely on accelerating therapies for brain disorders. With a special commitment to the lives of patients, families and care partners, Lundbeck U.S. actively engages in hundreds of initiatives each year that support our patient communities. For additional information, visit and connect on Twitter at @LundbeckUS.


Charise Dunn
Senior Manager, Advocacy and Patient Support, Lundbeck


1. Garvey S, Dawkins P, Lundbeck LLC. SidekicksTM: An intergenerational program uniting people with Parkinson’s and youth. Poster presented at: 5th World Parkinson Congress 2019; June 5, 2019; Kyoto, Japan.

2. Parkinson’s Disease: Hope Through Research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) website. Accessed: December 15, 2019.

3. Weintraub D, Comella CL, Horn, S. Parkinson’s disease Part 1: Pathophysiology, symptoms, burden, pathology, and assessment. Am Journal of Manag Care. 2008 Mar;14(2 Suppl):S40-8. Accessed: April 4, 2019.

4. American Parkinson Disease Association. Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension in Parkinson’s Disease [Fact sheet]. Accessed: December 15, 2019..

5. American Parkinson Disease Association website. Accessed: December 15, 2019.


©2020 Lundbeck and Davis Phinney Foundation. All rights reserved. Sidekicks is a registered trademark of Lundbeck NA Ltd. UBR-D-100750