Fundraiser benefits those who want to be active and manage Parkinson’s disease |

Fundraiser benefits those who want to be active and manage Parkinson’s disease

— On Saturday, Steamboat Springs residents again proved they will stand behind a good cause.

“This place has never seen anything like this,” Bill Root said while socializing in the Haymaker Nordic Center clubhouse. “It has been a success beyond description.”

Root, an avid 85-year-old cross country skier with Parkinson’s disease, helped organize the event, which will benefit those who will discover that exercise helps them cope with the disease.

Root along with fellow organizer Mark Traum were shocked by the turnout at the event. About 125 people donated a minimum of $50 to participate, ski and share stories about the disease, which affects the coordinated movements of a person’s muscles.

“Your mind wants to do it, but your body can’t,” said Traum, who was diagnosed in 2006 at age 46.

About 1.5 million Americans have the disease, and there is an active support group in Routt County.

Traum has lived in Steamboat since 1993 and worked at TIC until they closed their headquarters in Steamboat. Instead of transferring to Denver, he decided to stay in Steamboat and learned that Birgitta Lindgren at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center was hiring.

“Now I’m teaching cross-country skiing and really loving it,” Traum said.

Traum and others have grand visions for what Steamboat and its Nordic skiing community can offer anyone who is living with Parkinson’s.

“Why not get your physical therapy out here in the fresh air,” Lindgren said.

Traum said proceeds from the event will help pay for those impacted by the disease to learn and enjoy the health benefits from the sport.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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