Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 10:25 EDT

Unshaken By Eight-Year Parkinson’s Battle, Minnesotan’s Synchronized Holiday Light Show Shimmers Message of Hope with 58,000 Lights

November 25, 2013

PLYMOUTH, Minn., Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — On December 2, Plymouth Minnesota Mayor Kelli Slavik will join resident Mike Justak to preside over the official lighting of a Holiday Light Show he calls PD Shimmers. The show’s focus is on his home on Ithaca Lane but includes 5 adjoining homes as well. The show uses over 58,000 lights and is in sync to music broadcast on a low power FM radio station. Justak, who suffers with the incurable movement disorder Parkinson’s disease, puts on the show to raise awareness of Parkinson’s. He does this through a foundation that bears his name, The Mike Justak Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease. A donation box on site is available for viewers to support his cause.

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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurological movement disorder for which there is no cure. It strikes when a brain chemical, dopamine, no longer exists in sufficient quantity. Over time, as the disease progresses day-to-day “simple” tasks, such as brushing teeth, or buttoning a shirt become difficult if not impossible to accomplish.

So how does a 9(th) year patient assemble a light show? Time and patience. And plenty of both. Justak begins preparations as early as January. To program the lights on computer averages six hours for each single minute of final production. Unable to use a ladder, Justak uses long extension poles and even a telescoping center mast for his “mega tree.”

“There are times when I may only string 100 lights in a day,” he says.

Details about the show’s setup and Parkinson’s can be found on his website, www.pdshimmers.com.

The show will run each night, weather permitting, from 5PM until 10PM beginning November 29 and concluding December 28.

Viewers of the show are reminded about why the production is there with cues, both audio and visual. First the title itself is a tongue in cheek reference to the tremors that usually accompany the disease. There are voiceovers that reference Parkinson’s as well. One in particular, called “58,000″ tells the story of the lights. It begins in total darkness and concludes with each and every light shimmering. “It is expected that 58,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013. We shimmer on their behalf.”

Contact: Mike Justak

Read more news from The Mike Justak Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease.

SOURCE The Mike Justak Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease

Source: PR Newswire