Post co-written by Drs. Blindauer, Hiner and Hung
For the first time, the United States has recognized April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. The United States Senate passed a resolution
March 26. We celebrate this major achievement in our efforts to advance the fight to end the burden of Parkinson's disease. Now with April upon us and this major achievement under our belt, let’s take Parkinson’s awareness to the next level.
Here are five easy ways to get involved during Parkinson’s Awareness Month:
- Participate in one of the many Parkinson’s events that we have scheduled over the coming year. Mark your calendars for our annual Parkinson’s Symposium for patients and families on Sept. 25 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Country Springs Conference Center in Waukesha. Our keynote speaker this year is Eric Ahlskog, MD, PhD from the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Ahlskog has written, researched and spoken on Parkinson’s disease for many years.
- Join one of our Parkinson’s support groups. About 150 people meet at these five groups each month to learn more about Parkinson’s and to how to “live well.” They enjoy the information and the sharing. Watch for information about the series of classes on Chronic Disease Self-Management: Living Well with Chronic Conditions. Vicki Conte(e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 414-805-8326 ), our Parkinson’s Program Coordinator has been trained as a leader and has scheduled several of these classes already. Watch for more information in our next blog.
- Educate others about Parkinson’s. There are groups at your place of worship, school, workplace, senior center, club that may appreciate a speaker — such as yourself — to talk about Parkinson’s. Call our office (Vicki listed above). if you would like handouts for any such a presentation. Or, simply get in the habit of giving a brief explanation if your Parkinson’s symptoms are obvious and someone looks curious. “That darn Parkinson’s makes me freeze in doorways sometimes.” “I have Parkinson’s and my tremor is making me spill my soup.” Or, “my Parkinson’s disease makes things a bit slower from the brain to the mouth; but if you are patient, I will find my words.”
- Donate to our Parkinson’s Program either for program development or research. Our second annual fund-raiser, “Moving Forward: Ride/Walk/Fun Run for Parkinson’s will take place on Oct. 10, 2010. Watch for more information on how you can volunteer, participate or donate. Call Vicki to discuss this event or to learn more about Parkinson’s research right here in our clinic. A future blog will talk about our Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Databank for research as well as an interesting study currently being conducted using an iPod Touch to measure tremor.
- Read the latest Parkinson Report — the National Parkinson Foundation’s newsletter — to learn about the latest PD research taking place around the world and to access helpful tips for living well with PD. Read our blog!!
April is the one month of the year when the spotlight is on Parkinson’s disease. We all have a role to play in making sure that it shines bright and helps spread the message of hope.