Fighting the Good Fight Against Parkinson’s Disease
Many Nexstar employees give of their time and talents, serving as a positive force of good in their communities, and many step up to support important causes. Recently, we caught up with Heath Betts, Nexstar Leadership and Culture Coach, to learn more about his involvement with the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Here Heath offers details about his volunteer work and shares why it’s a cause close to his heart.
Thank you, Heath, for the good work you are leading and for the many ways you make a positive impact.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Nexstar?
A: I am a father, husband, and grandpa, and we just welcomed Grandbaby #4! One of my greatest passions is being a great “Heepaw” to my grandkids. Here at Nexstar, the thing I love most about my job is working to build relationships with members and my coworkers. I am also known as “The Silver Fox” by members, coworkers, family, and friends.
Q: What does your involvement with the Parkinson’s Foundation and Michael J. Fox Foundation entail?
A: Though I’ve worked with many charitable organizations, I am currently focused on my support of the Parkinson’s Foundation and Michael J Fox Foundation. I participate by giving my time and energy, giving directly to the organizations, and partaking in different walks and bike rides. For example, last April, I was involved with “Moving Day”, where a group walked for a cure while wearing “Team Silver Fox” T-Shirts.
Q: What motivated you to become involved?
A: My Dad suffers from Parkinson’s and has a severe case. Once this disease impacts someone in your family, you understand how bad it is. I want people to understand and become educated on the early symptoms to help them to mitigate as much as possible. It is such a mean and horrible disease and it’s incredibly sad to see family members impacted by Parkinson’s Disease.
Q: What has been the most impactful thing you’ve learned through your involvement?
A: 60,000 – 90,000 people each year are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. There are very few medications and no cures. Also, scientists and doctors are not sure of the cause. The biggest things are learning about the disease and being aware of how to help people diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking of getting involved?
A: Go online, read up, and reach out to foundations for information. There are an enormous number of resources available to those who are interested in learning about the disease, its early symptoms, and the ways to help those who are impacted.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to add?
A: My goal is to bring more attention to Parkinson’s Disease. My hope and intention is to create “The Silver Fox Foundation” to continue to raise awareness. I’d like to have Silver Fox-branded Parkinson’s kits for patients and offer other resources to help those impacted by Parkinson’s. I always say that the greatest story ever told is in a blank book. Maybe the Silver Fox Foundation is my story that hasn’t been written yet. I hope to do this – not to bring attention to me, but to bring awareness to Parkinson’s through The Silver Fox.