By the President of the United States of America
Of all the illnesses threatening our. older citizens, Parkinson's disease is one of the most devastating. One in forty Americans past middle age may be afflicted. The human as well as monetary costs are virtually incalculable.
Ten years ago, when the first proclamation of National Parkinson Week was issued and signed into law, a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease was usually accompanied by advice to the family that little could be done. Today, there is much that can be done, and prospects are steadily improving. Advances in drug treatment have put many disabled workers back on the job and have enabled many retirees to live their normal lives. For some, the change has been a real miracle.
However, the battle is not over. Drugs can control the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but they do not cure or arrest it. Since the cause is still unknown, prevention is not possible. Scientists are working constantly to find the cause. We must support them so the spectacular research momentum of the past ten years can be sustained.
Now, Therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of October 26, 1975, as National Parkinson Week. I urge physicians, scientists and government and private agencies concerned with Parkinson's disease to sponsor activities designed to inform every American of the need to continue the struggle and the need of their support.
I invite the Governors of the States and appropriate local government officials to support National Parkinson Week activities, and I urge the Nation's mass communications media to join in encouraging all Americans to heed the message.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-five and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundredth.
GERALD R. FORD