Colbeck Capital Management Co-Founders, and Managing Partners, Jason Colodne and Jason Beckman Support Michael J. Fox Foundation
For more than 22 years, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has remained dedicated to creating awareness of — and searching for a cure for — Parkinson’s disease. As a nonprofit organization, the foundation relies heavily on the support of donations that are deployed in near real-time for a host of research and educational endeavors. To this end, Jason Colodne and Colbeck Capital Management have provided support for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, joining a list of donors who are making an impact.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded over $1 billion in research programs to date, highlighting its decades-long pursuit of a cure for Parkinson’s disease in our lifetime. The foundation’s sense of urgency is eminent throughout its materials and programs, as it continues to foster awareness and promote research programs that could lead to an end to this debilitating disease. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that impacts, restricts, and overrides independent movement, and is often marked by tremors, rigidity, and imprecise motor skills. It can also lead to slower movement in general, as well as loss of balance and significantly lowered quality of life.
The foundation’s mission for a cure is focused primarily on research, but other programs are underway to help improve the quality of life for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Alongside research for a cure, stem cell programs optimize treatment modalities for patients and provide resources to help those suffering from the disease gain access to and understanding of available therapies. With over 6 million people worldwide afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, the foundation’s sense of urgency for a cure rings true on a global scale.
With this determination comes a unique business model. The nonprofit does not hold endowments or financial reserves to operate like a typical organization. Instead, all funds are immediately designated for, and used by, active programs in research and communities, with 86 cents of every dollar donated allocated directly to the cause. The foundation intentionally runs with very lean administrative costs as well, to ensure that the maximum amount of every donation can be put toward its core mission.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation has been pivotal in the advancements in research and improved therapies for patients in recent years. Current programs emphasize finding a cure more than ever, with the affected population expected to double to 14 million people by the year 2040. The foundation’s current major program, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), is a multicenter, international study that collects and analyzes biomarkers from individuals with and without the disease with the hope of identifying patterns and trends that can lead to a cure. Thus far, the study has collected data on over 100,000 people and has focused primarily on those with early stages of the disease. Data sets are shared globally with scientists to promote research and cooperation to expedite findings. The foundation itself has noted that these efforts would not be possible without the funding and donations it receives from partners and individuals who support its cause.
The foundation aims to create awareness through more than just research programs. Partners of the foundation get creative with their fundraising schemes to generate interest in the cause and promote awareness. One such recent event was hosted by Alpha Motor Corporation, which develops electric vehicle technology. During the event, which was an online virtual baton relay race featuring its NFT automotive collection, 100% of net proceeds from sales were donated directly to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for immediate use in high-impact research. The NFT fundraiser put a creative spin on the idea of a race for a cure for Parkinson’s disease and allowed for an innovative way for Alpha Motor Corporation to involve its community in the cause.
Research can be seen as a general, often vague, term to people outside the Parkinson’s community, but the foundation has done an impressive job of educating those who are (and are not) affected by the disease about what it takes to fight for a cure. These are reflected clearly in the foundation’s areas of focus, which include precise steps for where and how funds are allocated in a research capacity. Efforts include making sure that experts have a clear and full understanding of the current pathology of the disease to support treatment for people currently afflicted. The foundation’s integrated approach fosters cooperation between researchers and drug developers to create and distribute treatments more efficiently and effectively. Community events continue to play a major role in generating awareness as well as contributions to a cause, including the way those who do not have Parkinson’s disease can still participate and help with the PPMI program. All of these efforts come together through the foundation to increase momentum toward finding a cure and improved treatments on a global scale.