I remember the night clearly, my father and mother called and said they had some news; my father had Parkinson’s disease. The little things we had been noticing about my father now had an explanation, but what an explanation it was. In his typical manner he downplayed it all;he would continue to work, it was progressing slowly, things were fine, but over time it would get worse. At that point he had known about his illness for many years. Once off the call, I went to the internet and that evening read as much as I could . That call was over a decade ago and fortunately he had a relatively slow initial disease progression.
Since then his neurologist diagnosed him with Lewy Body Dementia, which refers to both Parkinson’s disease with dementia and dementia with Lewy body’s. To say it’s been a roller coaster to watch how this disease has impacted him as a person, a physician, a professor, a husband and a father would be an understatement. During the past decade he has amazed us, while the disease has confounded us. The drugs have worked wonders while they work. which inevitably lessens over time. Through it all, his positive attitude and tenacity have been some of the most remarkable things I have ever seen. His attitude has served as a stunning example to me of his power of to overcome and make the best of everything.
About 1 million people in the United States and 5 million throughout the world live with Parkinson’s. The cause of Parkinson’s is presently unknown and more research is needed so that possible preventive efforts as well as better treatments can be identified.
You will notice I have placed two links to the right, they are the Michael J. Fox Foundation and my personal site as a member of Team Fox to help raise funds for Parkinson’s research. Diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS and many, many other diseases need assistance, but this is one for me that hits home.