Neighbors help man with Parkinson's continue Christmas light tradition in Plymouth

- For the past decade, a metro man battling Parkinson’s Disease decorated his house with lights to help raise money for those like him battling the disease.

Last year was supposed to be the final year of the display, until his neighbors stepped in.

“Obviously, I’m a little bit jaded, it’s my favorite time of the year,” said Mike Justak.

Every night, you’ll find Justak looking out on the Christmas lights in his front yard. Now, the tradition he started nearly a decade ago will continue to light up the night.

“I live, eat and drink the light show,” he said. “It’s like a lifeline to a normal person’s life.”

Eight years ago, Justak created his shimmering light show synchronized to music to raise money and awareness about Parkinson’s Disease. The show extended to his neighbors’ yards as well.

Last year, Justak’s condition progressed to the point where he was going to have to call it quits.

“Try doing a job 30 days in a row that’s demanding enough, let alone a 61-year-old with Parkinsons,” he said.

When some of Justak’s neighbors heard he might be pulling the plug on the show, they offered to put it on at their homes about four blocks away. That way, Justak doesn’t have to deal with greeting visitors, managing traffic and making sure nothing goes wrong with the elaborate setup night after night.

“I am blessed to be in the best neighborhood in Minnesota,” Justak said. “This neighborhood has been so supportive from the start.”

Justak hopes his holiday light show can continue for years to come. After all, who knew a neighborhood tradition could be so illuminating.

“As long as I’m breathing a breath and as long as there’s Parkinson’s that doesn’t have a cure, I want to put my two cents in,” he said.

For more information, go to www.pdshimmers.com.

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