Last year saw encouraging progress in Parkinson’s research, not least the discovery of a biomarker to help detect the condition and clear momentum towards the first treatments. For the Demoucelle Parkinson Charity, 2023 was a pretty good year in several other respects as well.


Our charity’s two annual flagship fundraising activities, ‘Run, or Walk, for Parkinson’ at the Brussels 20 km each May and ‘Tulips for Hope’ towards the end of the year, once again generated both considerable interest and significant funds to support vital Parkinson research. With around 400 runners, walkers and para-athletes, we have been among the biggest teams taking part in the Brussels 20 km these past few years, and we hope to achieve at least that number again at the next edition on Sunday 26 May.

We welcomed a growing number of volunteers last year, including several Parkinson patients, family members and high school students. They not only supported our longstanding activities but also launched interesting new fundraising initiatives, such as the sale of olive oil, organising golf tournaments, and the auctioning of a painting. We are continuing to look for more ambassadors and also service organisations to support our cause, not least outside the Brussels capital region.

At the same time, we are also always trying to interest companies in helping us. A range of companies have supported ‘Run, or Walk, for Parkinson’ in recent years, and we greatly value the loyalty of these trusted corporate sponsors. Other companies helped us in different, sometimes very innovative ways in 2023. We were very pleased, for example, that Brussels Airport once again selected DPC as the beneficiary of its annual marathon and half marathon last October.

In September, Belgian real estate firm Befimmo challenged its employees to undertake a physical activity and seek sponsorship in support of Parkinson research. And for their ‘giving back’ and teambuilding day late October, employees of international insurance firm Allianz not only helped us with packing tulip bulbs, but also brainstormed on our social media outreach and how to raise awareness about Parkinson.

We also started cooperating with last year to seek to encourage long-term potential donors to mention the Demoucelle Parkinson Charity in their will. And we are particularly grateful for the pro-bono support for several of our activities that we received, and indeed continue to receive, from the enormously dedicated and creative people at the Brussels-based Happiness agency.


Throughout last year, the Demoucelle Parkinson Charity made active use of our presence on social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to support our fundraising activities and promote greater awareness about Parkinson’s disease, it’s severe impact not only on patients but also their family and friends, as well as the critical importance of sustained research to find a cure.

A major awareness raising activity at the beginning of the year was Patrick Demoucelle training for and heroically completing his DO-IT (‘distance olympique indoor triathlon’) challenge. We were pleased to work on this project with, an informative platform for people with Parkinson disease or other chronical conditions, and where Patrick’s accomplishment still features prominently on the home page.

Towards the end of the year, we worked again with the Happiness agency, as well as with three enthusiastic Parkinson patients, on a groundbreaking awareness and fundraising campaign called ‘Helping Hands’. And, together with the same agency, we set in train another initiative to mark World Parkinson Day on 11 April 2024, and on which we hope to be able to share more details soon.


For many years, to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease faster, the Demoucelle Parkinson Charity has been sponsoring promising research projects in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe that are focused on disease modifying therapeutics and at or beyond the pre-clinical development phase. We are very pleased that, last year, we were able to offer financial support to six of those projects.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research remains our key partner in this major area of our work. And both the DPC board and several of our volunteers particularly valued our very frank and inspiring discussion in Brussels last August with Miss Courtney Orr, Senior Associate Director at the said Foundation, and Dr. Bradford Casey, it’s Associate Director of Research Programs.

Finally, we also took another important step last year to stimulate home-grown Parkinson’s research right here in Belgium, by launching an annual award of 1,000 Euros for one or more Masters’ theses as well as a biennial PhD fellowship covering four years of salary and working costs. Our PhD fellowship was organized last year with the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), and we were glad not only to award the first fellowship but also to see a substantial increase in the number of applicants seeking sponsorship for Parkinson’s-related research.