“I know someone who…”

When I begin to talk about the Parkinson’s Comfort Project with someone, they very often say “My spouse/parent/friend, etc. has (or had) Parkinson’s.”

Every time someone says this I begin to ask them about the experience of being with a friend or loved one as they coped with this disease. But their original statement keeps coming back to me and begs the question “why isn’t Parkinson’s headline news so often as Alzheimer’s, stroke and other neurological conditions?”

Before I get mail to the otherwise, it is true that Parkinson’s is beginning to receive more attention in the mass media and the public square. All of us in the Parkinson’s community can help make it even more public, whether it is talking to people in our community, writing letters to the editor or other opportunities to speak openly about it. Perhaps the greatest aid to overcoming the isolation of Parkinson’s is to talk about and educate others about PD.

Humor often goes a long way in helping break isolation as well as in telling each person’s story about PD. Some of the greatest jokes and moments of laughter I have had since beginning this project have come from people with Parkinson’s. Yes, it is a serious challenge, but the tremendous sense of humor of so many people with PD is even greater.

Keep laughing and telling your story; all of us supporting you will help tell the world about Parkinson’s and together we will show the world that Parkinson’s does not have us!

Be well…Jesse

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