My name is Debbie and I am a 57-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease. Diagnosed at 52, I have spent the last six years, acquainting myself with disease. With April being Parkinson’s Awareness Month, I thought it important to share some facts with the community.
Parkinson’s is the second most common chronic neurodegenerative disorder and is caused by a loss of dopamine. The symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, impaired walking, difficulty with balance, sleep disturbance and mood disorders. There is currently no cure for the disease, but there are treatments such as medication, surgery, physical, occupational and speech therapies that can assist in coping with this disorder.
There are no specific brain scans or laboratory test to confirm the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. Neurologists diagnose it with a thorough study of a person’s medical history and careful physical examination. Tests may be done to rule out other conditions which may resemble Parkinson’s.
The exact cause remains unknown. It is possible, however, that genetics and the environment work together to cause Parkinson’s. Much more research is needed to completely understand how, why and when this happens.
Please, give what you can. There are so many special people in the community and surrounding areas, and if every one of them gave $2, it could make the difference in finding the cure.
You don’t plan on having a disease, but you can help plan to do something about it. Our slogan is: You are not alone. Our flower is the red and yellow tulip. For further information on donating contact the Parkinson Society of British Columbia at www.parkinson.bc.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a local donation box located in Home Again Home Again, at the Cherry Lane shopping centre.