Today's the last day of Parkinson's Awareness Month. Since I started this blog there have been a few celebs diagnosed with Parkinson's. I always get the same questions. What do you think and how do you feel? I always go through a wide range of emotions. It starts with thinking about how it may raise Awareness to sadness and hurt which ends up close to tears. It happened with Linda Ronstadt. It was worse with Robin Williams. I had the same feelings when I heard about Kirk Gibson.
If you aren't familiar with Gibby, he was a long time major league baseball player. The home run in the above video won the first game of the 1988 World Series. It's among baseball's most dramatic moments.
I was at that game and that's always been my first thought when his name is mentioned. Not anymore.
It was announced on Tuesday that Gibson has been taking time off from his broadcasting job with the Detroit Tigers to figure out how to deal with Parkinson's.
Sounds familiar....pretty much like everyone else I know with P.D.
You try to figure out the physical changes, the medications and the mental challenges. It's a lot to deal with.
It must be strange to have been a world class athlete and see your body start to fall apart. Imagine what that must do to your head? Depression can set in easily.
Parkinson's doesn't discriminate. Athletes, entertainers, politicians, religious figures or everyday regular folks....It gets us all.
Besides baseball, Gibson also played college football. He was a wide receiver at Michigan State. He was known as an intense competitor and for his toughness in both sports. He played pretty violently and was often injured. Did that lead to Parkinson's? No one knows and it's likely they never will but that question is always asked whenever an athlete is diagnosed with PD.
Interestingly, while football has had lots of brain issues, especially with concussion and dementia, Parkinson's hasn't been an issue...at least not yet. Former New York Giant punter Dave Jennings died of Parkinson's, but he was a Punter. Not exactly a contact position.
I think back to that World Series game almost thirty years ago. I'm pretty sure neither Gibson nor I had Parkinson's on our minds. I don't think I even knew it existed back then. Funny how life changes.
So yeah, it's the final day of Parkinson's Awareness Month. I like to think of all of us involved in the Parkinson's world as a team. Kirk Gibson, welcome to your new team.
Today ends Parkinson's Awareness Month. Tomorrow is the start of Melanoma Awareness Month. There's a connection between the two.
Subscribing to my blog is easy. Fill in the email box. Click the box below it and you're done. See? Easy!