This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of representing the Parkinson’s Comfort Project at the Vermont APDA chapter’s Awareness Day. A wonderful group of caregivers and people with Parkinson’s came out to hear about advances in Parkinson’s research and tools to shift our perspectives from negative to positive.
Dr. Robert Hamill, chair emeritus of the Department of Neurology at UVM’s College of Medicine and a highly respected movement disorder specialist brought us up to speed on the many avenues research of Parkinson’s is taking. There are clinical trials at both UVM and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center testing the efficacy of new pharmaceutical treatments of the disease.
The keynote address was given by Peter Davison, a motivational speaker who was diagnosed at age 45 with Parkinson’s. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Peter speak before and cannot help but feel optimistic and joyful in his presence. His message of seeing Parkinson’s as a “Gift of the Hit” may strike one as odd at first, but keep listening and you’ll see how his perspective provides great hope and health!
Janet Edmunson furthered Peter’s message in her breakout session with caregivers. Janet spoke from her own experience caring for her husband during his terminal illness and passing about how to flip negatives to positives. Her message was not to diminish the fact negative things and emotions exist, but rather how to shift perspective to take on those negative moments in a healthier way.
It was an excellent day, sharing stories with the community I am blessed to be accepted into and to serve. Thank you!