Parkinson’s Nebraska Proudly Announces Amber Winter as Executive Director

October 1, 2020

The Board of Directors of Parkinson’s Nebraska is pleased to formally announce Amber Winter as our Executive Director.

Amber has been the administrator of statewide programs and operations since 2018 upon joining the organization. She is a gifted and enthusiastic nonprofit professional with education and skills in designing programs that address unmet needs in the Parkinson’s community.

Under her leadership, Parkinson’s Nebraska has greatly expanded its reach outside of the Omaha metro area and has connected the statewide network through strategic engagement and programming.

She is dedicated to excellence through continuous evaluation and improvement of our program effectiveness and is deeply committed to bettering the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease statewide. Amber is a 2019 summa cum laude graduate of Bellevue University with a Bachelor of Science in Non-Profit Management.

10 Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

September 30, 2020

Below are 10 signs you might have Parkinson’s disease. It is important to remember that everyone experiences Parkinson’s disease differently. While these are common early symptoms, if you experience one of these symptoms it does not mean you have Parkinson’s disease. The Parkinson’s Foundation suggests that if you have more than one sign you should consider speaking with your doctor.”

Non-motor symptoms, such as loss of smell, constipation, & difficulty sleeping, often appear before the more physical symptoms of the disease. These non-motor symptoms are called premotor symptoms and can appear years before diagnosis.

According to the Davis Phinney Foundation, “The more visible physical symptoms of Parkinson’s, like tremors, slowness or stiffness, start in most people after 60-80% of certain dopamine-producing nerve cells are damaged.” These symptoms include tremors, stiffness, and stooping or hunching over.

The Davis Phinney Foundation also leaves us with the reminder that “No two people living with Parkinson’s will experience symptoms or progression of it in the exact same way.  Just because something is listed as a symptom of Parkinson’s doesn’t mean you will experience it.”

More Resources

The Parkinson’s Foundation 10 Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

The Davis Phinney Foundation What is Parkinson’s?

The Michael J Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Screening Questionnaire aims to help people determine if they should speak to their doctor or a movement disorder specialist about Parkinson’s disease. Take the Parkinson’s Screening Questionnaire here.

National Library of Medicine Premotor and non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease

Nebraska Community Action Committee

September 29, 2020

Do you have Parkinson’s, love someone with PD, or provide services to people with Parkinson’s? Are you interested in becoming more involved in the Nebraska Parkinson’s community? Do you want to make a impact in the lives of people with Parkinson’s? Does it sound like fun to work with others who are motivated to help those with Parkinson’s live a quality life?

If you answered yes to the above questions, we want you to join the Nebraska Community Action Community!

The NE CAC is a group of individuals with Parkinson’s, caregivers, and professionals from across Nebraska committed to creating lasting change in the Nebraska community through partnerships, ongoing engagement, and pooling knowledge & resources.

Each member is valuable because of the perspectives, experiences, and skills they bring to the group. Their diverse experiences help identify potential needs and creatively find solutions to meet those needs.

The NE CAC was created in 2019 by the Davis Phinney Foundation as part of their Healthy Communities Initiative. They facilitated the committee through a review of available resources in Nebraska, helped identify our strengths and opportunities, and helped design a Victory Summit event based on the needs and interests of the Nebraska Parkinson’s community.

But the work doesn’t end at the event. The Davis Phinney Foundation has been hosting regular virtual CAC meetings to promote engagement and work towards the community’s goals.  This role has recently transitioned to Parkinson’s Nebraska. We are so excited for the opportunity to continue the great work started by the Davis Phinney Foundation and collaborate to strength our community.

Contact Amber at amber@parkinsonsnebraska.org or 402-715-4707 for more information about the Nebraska Community Action Committee and how to get involved.

In-person Exercise Classes

September 28, 2020

Some exercise classes across Nebraska have resumed in-person services. We have compiled a list of programs that are meeting in-person. 

Tai Chi for Better Balance
Hastings Family YMCA
1430 W 16th St
Hastings, NE 68901
Tuesdays & Thursdays 
Advanced 10:30-11:15am
Beginner 11:30-12:15pm
Erika Knott
erikak@hastingsymca.net
402-463-3139

Rock Steady Boxing
Grand Island YMCA
221 E. South Front St.
Grand Island, NE 68801
Contact the Grand Island YMCA for current class schedule.
Ashlyn Cramer
acramer@grandislandpt.com
308-398-9622

Strength & Balance
Fitness and Beyond
1020 S. 74th Plaza
Omaha, NE
Contact Jacey for class schedule.
Jacey Gengenbach
jacey@fitnessandbeyondomaha.com
402-502-2729

Delay the Disease
Kearney Family YMCA
4500 6th Ave
Kearney, NE 68847
Tuesday and Thursday
11:00 am- 12:00 pm
Anne Johnson
ajohnson@kearneyymca.org
308-237-9622

Delay the Disease
Methodist Fremont Health Rehab
440 East 23rd St.
Fremont, NE 68045
Wednesdays
2:45 pm
Tammy Bures
tammy.Bures@nmhs.org
402-727-3329  or 402-936-0804

Foundations of Movement
Norfolk Family YMCA
301 West Benjamin Ave
Norfolk, NE 68701
Mondays and Wednesdays
1:00-2:00 pm
Tina Collison
getfit@norfolkymca.org
402-371-9770

Rock Steady Boxing
Norfolk Family YMCA
301 West Benjamin Ave
Norfolk, NE 68701
Tuesdays and Thursdays
1:00-2:00 pm
Tina Collison
getfit@norfolkymca.org
402-371-9770

Parkinson’s Exercise Group
St. Francis Memorial Hospital
430 Monitor St
West Point, NE
Tuesday and Thursday
11:00-12:30 pm
402-372-2372
*Caregivers are invited to meet during the class time

As in-person services begin, providers are helping maintain a healthy environment through safety precautions and social distancing. Please contact the instructor or facilitator to learn about how their programs are safely transitioning into in-person services. 

This is not an exhaustive list of in-person Parkinson’s programming in Nebraska. This list will be updated as new programs resume in-person services. If you instruct or participate in a Parkinson’s exercise class that is not listed, please contact Amber at amber@parkinsonsnebraska.org to be added.

Walk the State THANK YOU!

September 20, 2020

Thank you all so much for supporting the Walk the State Challenge and Virtual Event!

It’s been one week since the event and the donations are still coming in! Together, we have raised a total of $28,731 to increase Parkinson’s services and strengthen the statewide community throughout Nebraska. We increased our goal three times (from $15k to $20k to $27k) and still beat our goal by $1,731!

Not only have the donations kept rolling in, but so have the miles. Over the past week, 235 additional miles have been submitted bringing the total to…

9,243 miles = 20.3 x across the state of Nebraska!!

A special thank you to Ted Wuebben, Ryan Cary, and their groups for riding in the Tying the State Together bike ride journey to connect our state. They submitted a total of 1,721 miles to bring awareness to Parkinson’s!

You can read more about their journey here.

The Nebraska community keeps proving itself to be strong and resilient in the face of Parkinson’s disease. Last year, we had to cancel our outdoor run due to weather. But two runners still completed the 5k and both had Parkinson’s disease! This year, it showed its strength again by rallying together and exercising to bring awareness to PD.

Thank you again for supporting the Walk the State Challenge and Virtual Event to help us continue to strengthen our already powerful community of fighters!

If you missed this year’s event, you can check out the full event recording and all speaker presentations here.


Thank you so much to our sponsors who made this event possible!

The Baer Foundation

Walk the State Virtual Event

September 15, 2020

Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join us live for the Walk the State Virtual Event on Sunday, September 13th! But don’t worry if you couldn’t make it. We have the event including videos of the speaker presentations recorded here just for you!

Full Walk the State Virtual Event

Rock Steady Boxing Movement Break- Norfolk Family YMCA

Parkinson Voice Project- Gwen Nolan MS, CCC-SLP

Voicing Lesson- Amy Renken MS, CCC-SLP

Ted and Ryan made it to Valentine!

September 13, 2020

Ted left Omaha on Saturday, September 5th for an 8-day bike ride from Omaha to Valentine, NE. He stopped in towns along his 351-mile path, including Norfolk where he was on the radio and met with the community at Fountain Point Medical Community. From there he took the Cowboy Trail west to Valentine, making great time despite some weather challenges.

Ryan was joined by two of his friends on their journey from Scottsbluff to Valentine. Even with the wind in their face and sore bodies, they still made it 300 miles each (that’s 900 miles total!) to meet up with Ted.

Ted and Ryan met up with each other in Valentine, NE on Sunday, September 13th- tying the state together from east to west. They were able to join us from a beautiful bridge in Valentine to check-in during the Walk the State Virtual Event.

During the event, Ryan shared some of his thoughts during a challenging part of the ride.

“For Parkinson’s patients, their brain tells them they want to do one thing and their body doesn’t always let them. And that absolutely happened to me yesterday. I wanted to make it and my body just failed me. It’s a humbling experience to know a small piece of what that might be like sometimes.”

Ted quickly agreed saying, “That’s what kept me going sometimes.”


Thank you again to H&H Chevrolet for sponsoring Ryan’s ride and Heritage Communities for sponsoring Ted’s ride. This trip would not have been possible without our amazing sponsors!

Walk the State Challenge Update

September 8, 2020

It’s been a little over a week since the #WalktheState Challenge has started and we wanted to check in with the teams.

So far, the teams have submitted

over 1,556 miles

& raised over

$17,800

for the Walk the State Challenge!!!

That’s almost three and a half times across the Nebraska!

Show them some support by donating and sharing their team page! Help us get to $20,000!


Saturday, September 5th kicked off the Tying the State Together journey! Learn more about the Kick-off Celebration here!


Ted made it to Norfolk! He will be on the Jim & Jenna Show on US92 radio on Wednesday morning to talk about Parkinson’s Nebraska, the Walk the State Challenge and ride ride to Valentine! Listen in at this link.

Ted will be also stopping in Norfolk at Fountain Point Medical Community on Wednesday, September 9th at 12 pm. The community is invited to come out to meet Ted, learn about Parkinson’s disease, and pick up local Norfolk Parkinson’s resources. See you there!


Thank you so much to our longtime supporter Heritage Communities for sponsoring the Ted’s leg of the Tying the State Together journey and H&H Chevrolet for sponsoring Ryan’s trip!

The Tying the State Together journey has started [video]

September 5, 2020

The Tying the State Together journey started today!

Riders joined the Tying the State Together teams to kick-off their journey to cycle across Nebraska!

The commencement ride was led by Honorary Rider, Dr. Howard Gendelman from UNMC, who has worked diligently to support the community and Parkinson’s research.

Give them some support and encouragement by making a donation to the Tying the State Together campaign page!


Thank you so much to Heritage Communities for sponsoring Ted and H&H Chevrolet for sponsoring Ryan as they take on the Tying the State Together journey!

The Walk the State Challenge Has Started!

August 31, 2020

The Walk the State Challenge just started! There are 

14 teams &

96 participants

from across NE

… including our very own board members! Ted Wuebben and Ryan Cary are taking the challenge literally and will be cycling across the state to Tie the State Together.

Ted will start in Omaha, ride up to Norfolk, and take the Cowboy Trail to Valentine. Ryan will be starting in Scottsbluff and riding east to meet Ted in Valentine where they will be checking in with us during the Walk the State Virtual Event on Sunday, September 13th (Register here).  

Learn more about the Tying the State Together journey here and donate to the board’s team – Tireless Ted’s Trek Across Nebraska Support Team!

So far, we have raised over $9,500 of our $15,000 goal from 82 donors! We are blown away by the enthusiasm and support from our amazing community. Please help us reach our goal by making a donation and sharing our Walk the State fundraising page!