Ten years ago while performing surgery, Dr. Beth Hochstein noticed that she was having trouble moving her pinkie finger. That led to her 2007 diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson’s disease (PD) at just 36 years old.
Prior to the diagnosis, Hochstein lived in Great Neck with her two young children and ran a busy podiatry practice on the peninsula with her husband, Dr. Alec Hochstein. She has since devoted herself to managing life with this disease—in part, by dancing.
After learning about the many physical and mental benefits dance could offer people with PD, Hochstein began fundraising for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research with her first event, Dance Party for Parkinson’s, in May 2011.
“Dance and music have shown again and again to be beneficial as therapy for Parkinson’s disease,” said Hochstein. “When I dance, once I start moving, it allows me to forget about my daily struggles with the disease, even if it is only for an hour or two.”
With the help and support of family and friends, Hochstein went on to found the nonprofit organization Dance Party for Parkinson’s, Inc., to continue raising funds for PD research. She is determined to continue until a cure is found.
“Having been diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease has taught me patience, given me courage and determination to help be a part of the cure,” said Hochstein, who has raised approximately $100,000 during the past five years. “Team Fox has allowed me to forget about my daily struggles with Parkinson’s and focus on getting my friends, family and community involved to help find a cure.”
On Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m., the group will host Dancin’ the Night Away for Parkinson’s Disease at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck at 5 Old Mill Rd. The party will include music by One Sound Label, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and a live auction. All proceeds will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
“Being the founder of this nonprofit organization allows me to play an active roll in helping research that, hopefully, one day will lead to a cure,” said Hochstein. “All donations in any amount will keep bringing us a step closer to a cure.”
For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.dancepartyforparkinsons.org.