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Stars Dancing for Parkinson's Raises Money for Wellness Program

May 26, 2023

The stars were shining brightly as eight amateur dancers took to the stage for the fourth annual Stars Dancing for Parkinson’s competition May 12. Launched by J. Antonelle de Marcaida, MD, medical director of the David and Rhoda Chase Family Movement Disorders Center, part of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute, the event pairs leaders from around Hartford HealthCare with professional dancers. The pairs train for months in advance of the competition, and compete in a variety of dance styles. “We do what we do because we have seen them fight just as tenaciously, just as unyieldingly, just as indomitably through the years they’ve had to battle Parkinson’s and its relentless effect on their lives” says Dr. de Marcaida, who was part of the first competition, paired with her husband, Vlad, a professional dancer. This year’s event raised more monies for wellness programs at the Chase Movement Disorders Center. The winner, according to a crowd of 500 and a four-judge panel, was Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Karen Goyette. She danced to “Rewrite the Stars” with Gunnar Sverrison, volunteering for the event after experiencing the disease with her late father. “After he passed, Dr. de Marcaida took the time to write a letter and tell me sweet things about him that I could remember. The way she approaches treating her patients makes such a difference in families’ lives,” Goyette says.

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