Arcadia Receives Parkinson Council Grant to Support Dan Aaron Stay Fit Exercise Program

By Dan DiPrinzio | February 20, 2023

Arcadia University has received a grant of $30,056 from the Parkinson Council to support staffing needs to operate the Dan Aaron Stay Fit Exercise Program. 

“We are so very fortunate to have the ongoing support from the Parkinson Council,” said Janet Readinger, PT, DPT, associate professor of Practice, Director of Progression and Professional Development and Director of the Dan Aaron Stay Fit Exercise Program. “The funding received allows us to continue to provide a high quality program at little to no cost to our exercisers. We are so grateful to the Parkinson Council.”

The Parkinson Council funds research, education, and programs in the Greater Philadelphia area that work to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease. It has supported the Dan Aaron Stay Fit Exercise Program with grants since 2010. 

This year’s grant is the largest to date. 

About the Dan Aaron Stay Fit Exercise Program

Designed for participants with Parkinson disease as well as multiple sclerosis, Stay Fit meets the fitness needs of those who desire to exercise and keep active, but cannot go to a regular gym because of slowness, stiffness, difficulty with balance, or other safety concerns. 

Groups meet for one hour twice per week under the direction of Arcadia’s Doctor of Physical Therapy students directly supervised by physical therapists with experience in the treatment of persons with neurologic disease.

The Aaron family name is one that resonates throughout the Arcadia community. An inspiring philanthropist and community activist, Gerri Aaron received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Arcadia in 2014. Her husband, Dan Aaron, was one of the originating founders of Comcast. Together, after Dan was diagnosed with Parkinson disease, the influential couple created the Dan Aaron Parkinson Disease Foundation (now The Parkinson Council). Gerri and Dan’s daughter, Alison Aaron Madsen, Esq., ’85, is a former chair of the Board of Trustees. 

Following Dan’s passing in 2003, Gerri and her family founded the Dan Aaron Stay Fit Exercise Program through the Dan Aaron Parkinson Disease Foundation. 

For nearly two decades, the Dan Aaron Stay Fit Exercise Program has improved the lives of countless patients and caregivers in the local community. Participants note substantial improvement in endurance and mobility exercises, either maintaining or improving, for example, gait speed, sit-to-stand movements, and balance.