I am participating in the Moving Day NC Triangle Walk, benefiting the National Parkinson Foundation on November 2nd, 2013.
The event will take place at Koka Booth Amphitheatre (Cary, NC) and will be a fun-filled, family-friendly event for all ages and abilities. We will be able to enjoy a variety of movement activities yoga, dance, Pilates, Tai Chi, stretching and much more and celebrate the importance of movement in our lives.
Please consider being a part of my team or sponsoring me, and I encourage you to get your friends, family and coworkers involved.
The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) continues to bring help and hope to the estimated one million people in the United States, four to six million worldwide, who are living with Parkinson’s disease. NPF is the only organization with a singular focus on improving the quality of care in Parkinson’s disease. NPF programs reach more than one million people a year through its network of 39 chapters, 43 Centers of Excellence and 900 support groups. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $172 million in care, research and support services.
When I was diagnosed with Parkingson's in February 2007, the doctor told me I could expect 3-5 years of life relatively free of problems. After that he indicated that quality of life would rapidly decline. I was stunned and frightened. On the outside I laughed about my left arm that seemed to have a life of its own, handwriting that could fit on the head of a pin, and my walk that Chester of Gunsmoke fame would have envied. But inside I worried about the future. What about the plans my husband and I had for travel following retirement? We loved to hike and backpack. What about my children and future grandchildren? Would I be able hold my grandchildren, babysit them, and watch them grow up? Could I continue to work part time, work as a volunteer in the church clothing ministry, participate in my educational sorority? How would friends and family react? Would we be swamped with medical bills? How do you live knowing you have a progressive illness and currently there is no cure?
Three months later, I learned an important lesson and it wasn't even the Parkinson's that taught me. While vacationing at the beach, I fell off my bike and broke my hip. Emergency surgery was done and I came home to recuperate. Nine days later I was admitted to the hospital with blood clots in my leg and right lung. My husband, family, and friends were there for me physicallly and with thoughts and prayers. Lesson learned - My family and friends are with me in all things.
Physical therapy followed and I learned the importance of goal setting and hope. Carl and I had planned a trip to the Grand Canyon for the fall. Could we still go? Could I still hike? I set my goals -walk with a walker, progress to a cane, walk without assistance, increase stamina. In late September Carl and I hiked seven miles on the Maraposa Trail on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon!
It's been six and a half years since my diagnosis. I have gotten to hold and love my grandchildren. My friends and family are very important to me. Life is still good, some days better than others. I still have worries from time to time. but I continue to learn some things that help. 1) Believe in Someone or Something bigger than yourself. 2) Learn as much about the disease as possible. 3) Finding and working with a good doctor is essential. 4)Talk with other people with Parkinson's, share information, and listen to their stories, 5)Find a caring support group. 6) Help someone else. 7) Keep moving. Find a form of exercise you like and stick to it. 8) Always look for someting to hope for.
Thank you for helping me reach my fundraising goal to support the vital work of the National Parkinson Foundation.