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  • Writer's pictureNicole Will

Turning Loss into Legacy: A Parkinson’s Awareness Journey with Dr. George Ackerman

Updated: May 26

Natalie Elliott Handy confessions of a reluctant caregiver

Turning Loss into Legacy: A Parkinson’s Awareness Journey with Dr. George Ackerman, Founder of TogetherForSharon®

In 2020, George faced a profound loss when his mother, Sharon Riff Ackerman, passed away due to Parkinson’s Disease. Determined to honor her memory and make a meaningful impact, George, along with his family, founded TogetherForSharon®. This initiative is not just a tribute to his mother but a robust platform dedicated to spreading Parkinson’s awareness and fostering hope for a cure.

Throughout our conversation today, we'll explore various facets of this journey. Dr. Ackerman will share his personal experiences and the evolution of TogetherForSharon®, which now reaches thousands across the country. We talk about the nature of Parkinson's Disease, its impact on the nervous system, and the challenges faced by those diagnosed, including their caregivers. Dr. Ackerman will also shed light on his diverse interviews – over 250 individuals worldwide, from neurologists to Muhammad Ali’s daughter, all contributing to a greater understanding of Parkinson's. We also look at the intersection of his background in law, police, and education with healthcare and Parkinson’s awareness, the role of caregivers, and the broader societal conversation on this critical topic. Finally, we'll hear about the future aspirations for TogetherForSharon® and the legacy George wishes to leave behind.

Thank you, George, for your passion and drive to spread awareness for Parkinson's Disease.

Listen to our episode HERE.

George shares about:

  • His personal experience of losing his mother to Parkinson's Disease and how this loss inspired him to establish TogetherForSharon® to honor her memory and contribute to Parkinson's awareness.

  • An exploration into what Parkinson's Disease is

  • His insights from his interviews with over 250 individuals in the Parkinson’s community, including caregivers, patients, and experts, which highlight diverse experiences and perspectives on living with Parkinson's

  • How his diverse expertise in law, police, and education intersects with and informs his approach to Parkinson’s awareness and healthcare advocacy

  • What the vision for the future of TogetherForSharon®, its differentiation from other Parkinson's awareness initiatives, and the legacy he hopes to create for future generations in the fight against Parkinson's Disease

About Dr. George Ackerman & TogetherForSharon®

Dr. George Ackerman is from Brooklyn, N.Y. Now residing in Florida, he works in the fields of law, police, and education. George lost his mother, Sharon Riff Ackerman on 1/1/2020 due to Parkinson’s Disease.

George wanted to honor his mother and continue to help in the Parkinson’s awareness cause and did not know how to bring change. With my family, we started TogetherForSharon® as a family for the purpose of keeping my mother, Sharon Riff Ackerman’s, memory alive and to share the message of Parkinson’s Awareness and hope for a cure.

Today reaches thousands of individuals across the country for PD Awareness. George currently interviews individuals throughout the Parkinson’s community including various foundations, caregivers, and Parkinson’s warriors to help share their stories and causes.

You can connect with George and learn more about TogetherForSharon on email, LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.


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*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co. A boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!

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