You Think You Have It Bad

Sunday was the National Parkinson’s Foundation Moving Day event in Chicago. Here’s the basics….

It’s a 5K walk/run. There was a crowd of about 2,000 people. 1,500 people walking. Their goal was raising $250,000. They exceeded that raising $350,00 and counting (still taking money. they’ll be glad to take yours).

It’s a lot of work to put on an event like this. Planning takes nine months. First meeting for next year takes place next month.

The Foundation puts on these events throughout the country. Twenty this year. Hoping for 25 in 2014. There are still  five more to go this fall, including one in Honolulu next month. Hey ChicagoNow management…I’m willing to go cover that one. Expense it?  (yeah right)

I talked about this before but we’re in an era where there is a lot of competition for charity donations. On Sunday, there were five different charity walks in the Chicago area. In Lincoln Park, while the Parkinson’s walk was going on in the south part of the park, there was another walk, at the same time in the north part of the park. It’s crowded out there. 250 walks/runs/half-marathons this year in Chicago.

The actual walk had some interesting moments. There weren’t a lot of Parkinson’s patients walking but there were a lot of family, caregivers and supporters. One person had a group of 85 people walking and supporting her.

The highlight for me was the twenty minutes I spent walking with a woman in her mid-70’s. She was diagnosed two years ago, and she was using Walking Poles to help. She said that walking distances made her legs and feet cramp up and the poles really helped her maintain her balance. She told me the good thing about being diagnosed at a later age is there will be less time for the disease to ravage her body. She chuckled as she said this. What an attitude!! BTW…no tremors for this woman.

Lots of different stories about how people are treating their illness and how it affects them. Some taking Parkinson’s meds, some aren’t. Some of the meds work, some don’t and people are looking for alternatives.

There were some with tremors, some without. Some with balance issues, some without. Some with both.

One problem with this disease is because most of us are late 50’s and up, you can’t be sure if a particular symptom is from Parkinson’s or if it’s from aging. I heard that a few times. No wonder it’s so hard to diagnose it.

So what did I take away from this event? It was interesting to find out what goes on to put together this type of event. I haven’t even mentioned the work it takes getting national and local sponsors.

I made some contacts with some people who publish a couple of different Parkinson’s publications. Maybe I can do some writing for them.

Most importantly I met people who all had something in common. Whether it was family, caregivers, workers, volunteers or patients, everyone was united for a few hours. There’s still a lot of work left to go. Let’s get to it!!!



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    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

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