By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell today received the second annual “Danny” award, a milestone in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease.

The reason for Rendell’s support is both simple and profound: “My mom essentially died of Parkinson’s Disease,” he said today at the Bellevue Hotel in center city.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.  Dan Forman, president of award sponsor The Parkinson Council, says there are more diagnoses of the disease than decades ago.

“Technology wasn’t really there for Parkinson patients,” he explains.  “We’ve been using the same medicine for the last 45 years.”

Why is that?

“The number of patients who had Parkinson’s was, quite frankly, much smaller than other diseases. The funds were not going in our direction.”

Forman says the goal is not just a home run against Parkinson’s Disease but to knock it out of the park.

The Danny Award is named for Dan Aaron, a co-founder of Comcast who fought the disease but lost his battle.

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