In January 1997, I noticed my first symptoms of Parkinson's disease. I was 32. Since that time, I've come to know what everyone affected by PD learns sooner or later: Parkinson's "is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get."
Well, you know that under normal circumstances, I like chocolate, and indeed, PD has brought me many blessings: writing, art, and phenomenal family members and friends. But there are a lot more "pieces" that I'd spit out if I could: the involuntary movements (dyskinesia), the slowness, my speech problems, and most recently, a daily battle with apathy and depression.
For more than 10 of those years, I have been involved in education and fundraising efforts for the National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota (NPFM).NPFM's largest and most effective event is Moving Day,Saturday, May 3rd. This used to be just a walk, but now includes many forms of movement, from yoga and dance to Nordic walking and cycling. Exercise is a proven therapy for people living with PD, and our families, too.
NPFM is committed to doing whatever it takes to beat Parkinson's disease. So far, this has meant working with a number of communities to help them become more "Parkinson's-friendly," raising awareness about PD, creating exercise and social opportunities for people living with PD, and providing respite care funds to care partners.
Please join me in making a contribution, if you can. Thanks!