Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
Courage took center stage at Chicago’s inaugural Partners in Parkinson’s (PiP) event, sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Abbvie. Not the kind of courage that roars, but the quiet kind that helps us face our fears, and reinvent ourselves to live well with a progressive, incurable disease. Almost 1,000 people — many of who were newly diagnosed and/or attending their first PD event — turned out for the program.
Taking that first step into a support group meeting or an educational symposium is the most difficult for patients, requiring all the courage a newbie can muster up. Seeing people exhibiting the symptoms of advanced PD is enough to start newbies projecting what might be in store for them months or years down the road. For a long time, I believed I was the only person with Parkinson’s (PWP) who felt this way. I was ashamed of myself and hoped other PWP would not one day find me too scary to look at. These feelings are the white elephant in the room that no one acknowledges, though we all experience them.
The enemy within is the toughest opponent we face, constantly telling us we are powerless to improve our situation. In reality, this is not so. Former Surgeon General Everett Koop said, “Knowledge is the best prescription,” empowering patients to make educated decisions about their health and medical treatment.
Whether you were unable to attend PiP or are seeking follow-up information, go to www.partnersinparkinsons.org to:
As a long time patient, I am grateful to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and its corporate sponsor, Abbvie, for recognizing and meeting this need in our community.