Just in case you were not aware (shame on you! <grin>), this month, April, is "Parkinson's Awareness Month". If you don't have PD or don't know anyone with PD, you may ask "What's that?" Well, since you KNOW my love of definitions, here is a definition of 'Awareness':
"The knowledge or perception of a situation or fact. Or concern about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development"
Well, there you go! See you've learned something already! (And who says the Internet is only about watching cat videos!) But seriously, April is the month that is used to raise awareness about the realities of Parkinson's Disease. So I wanted to take a short moment to give you some ways to become more 'aware' of Parkinson's in this month of April.
While there are a lot of people who do know quite a bit about Parkinson's, there are many people who may have heard of the disease, but know little or nothing about the condition itself and how affects a person and the people around them.
To start you off, here are some info and statistics about Parkinson's Disease:
One other staggering statistic to know is that the cost of Parkinson's to the health care system in the US alone, both directly and indirectly, is nearly $25 billion per year! WOW!
So spend some time this month learning a little bit about Parkinson's, it's symptoms, it's treatments - either via the Internet or literature. There are even web-based seminars or webinars where you can learn a little bit more about PD!
Here are a few links to get you started:
This one can be a little harder... because one has to get off sofa (myself included) and get out there and be involved! So what are some ways to get participate and get involved?
Go to a seminar or webinar.
Wear your Parkinson's Awareness bracelets - remember gray is the Parkinson's Awareness color!
Start a conversation with someone about Parkinson's.
Write a letter to the Editor of your local newspaper!
Sign up for one of the walks or runs that are done by various Parkinson's related organizations
Another way to participate is to be involved with clinical trials. Did you know that a lot of research in PD for that elusive cure is slowed down because the folks involved in that research do not have enough candidates for the related clinical trial? "But Tom," you say, "I don't have PD... How can I participate?" Did you know that every valid clinical trial not only involves the people who have the disease, but also people who don't have PD to be used as 'control' subjects. I've read that this is one of the biggest needs in clinical trials - individuals who are not affected by the disease but participate anyway so that the researchers will have a 'baseline' of what that treatment or drug does. So if you have PD or not, but want to be involved in the research, you can use the Michael J Fox Foundation's Fox Trial Finder to search for trials in your area. Who knows? Your participation may be the key that finds that cure that we all need!
This one seems pretty obvious - use this month to give to organizations involved with Parkinson's research.The only way that we will ever beat Parkinson's, or Alzheimer's, or any of these devastating diseases is if the researchers have the funds to do the research. So help raise funds for better treatment, research, and to reach more people that are affected by the disease.
Here are some of the organizations I would recommend:
Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research - 85 cents of each dollar goes to research!
Michigan Parkinson's Foundation (Michigan) - All the funds gathered at the MPF are used to help patient's and their families right here in the great state of Michigan!
Parkinson's Foundation (National)
And don't forget your favorite Parkie, wherever and whoever they are! Let them know you care... You can even give funds in honor of your favorite Parkie! And remember that we Parkies can always use a smile and a hug!!
So get involved this month! Join the conversation! Learn more! Give something for research! You (and we) will be glad you did!
Some Important Dates To Remember
Parkinson's Awareness Month 2019, Monday April 1 - Tuesday April 30
World Parkinson's Day 2019, Wednesday April 11
Parkinson's Awareness Week 2019, Monday April 8 - Sunday April 14
Additional Info on Parkinson's Awareness Month