Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
As my husband, Tony, and I entered the Oregon Convention Center for the opening of the 2016 World Parkinson’s Congress, I could hardly believe we had made it. After being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last fall, and undergoing major surgery and months of chemotherapy, participating in this three-day event seemed like an unreachable goal, but I refused to back down. It goes to the very core of who I am, and neither cancer nor Parkinson’s can change that.
As people with Parkinson’s, we come to the WPC to learn from each other and to share our personal experiences and ideas with neuroscientists, clinicians, researchers, doctors, nurses, and care partners. We also come to see old friends, make new ones, and remember those who are no longer with us, prompting stories of happier times together. We rededicate ourselves to remain in the fight for our lives, determined to remain standing when the bell clangs… announcing our victory over Parkinson’s.
The fourth WPC is the largest ever, bringing together the entire global Parkinson’s community, drawing more than 4,200 delegates from 62 countries around the world. More than 60 % of delegates are attending a WPC for the first time.
The opening ceremony began with the WPC choir singing about our singular vision — a world without Parkinson’s. Tears stred down my cheeks at the very thought of it.
Can you imagine a world without Parkinson’s
A world without tremors and shakes
We’ll reach the goal we are working together
No matter what effort it takes
We would no longer whisper
Our voices would soar
We would no longer freeze on our way through the door
No twisting or shaking, no stumbles or falls
So gladly we’d banish them all
Enlightened empowered our spirits are high
Even more optimistic that soon we shall see
A world that is Parkinson’s free.