April 1st is usually a day designated for practical jokes throughout the nation. Instead, this past Saturday represented something much different: unity. Butler employees and their family and friends gathered at the University of South Florida to support Butler’s Senior Graphic Designer Jeff Warkentien on Moving Day Tampa. The 5k walk is about spreading awareness and showing support for those who are afflicted with Parkinson ’s disease.
In the summer of 2010, Jeff was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 39. Starting with a twitch in his left pinky, Jeff’s symptoms grew from there. Learning about the disease through organizations such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation and The Parkinson’s Foundation, Jeff began to contribute to the cause.
“I raised about $1,200 through the Michael J. Fox organization through a social media campaign. Doing the Moving Day 5k was another way I could help fight for a cure,” said Jeff.
When talking about the limitations he faces with Parkinson’s, Jeff says, “There are some things I’ll never do because of my condition: for example, bomb squad technician or egg collector. But everything happens for a reason. You may not know the reason now, tomorrow or next year, but there is a reason for everything.”
Jeff’s ability to overcome this obstacle and still keep his great sense of humor is a point of inspiration for all who know him. That is why the Butler team rallied behind him to raise money through pledges from friends, family, and their own donations.
James Anderson of the Litigation Support Department enjoys doing 5k walks with the Butler team, but he notes this one was special. “We here at Butler are a family, and family takes care of each other and supports each other. I wanted to show Jeff that he is an important member of this team and that we all love and care for him.”