How Can I Help Others With Parkinson's?

When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s five years ago, I knew nothing about it nor did I have a clue about the trip it was going to take me on. Today, I have some knowledge about Parkinson’s and have some sense about what my future could be.

It will stay with me to the end of my life. I have seen, learned, and done things that have given me a different outlook. Hopefully, I am better for it.

Discovering the issue

For some time now, I have spent much of my time with support groups, fitness classes, attending conferences, and more. Most importantly I have had many conversations with people with Parkinson’s (PWPs).

I became aware that many people with Parkinson’s aren’t doing what they could be doing to help themselves. I have seen how depression, anxiety, apathy, and perhaps poor medical advice takes its toll. Also, some lack the financial resources to pay for care that could help daily.

What could I do to help others?

For the last three years, I have participated in a boxing fitness training program called Rock Steady Boxing. Boxing fitness training is helpful for a person with Parkinson’s. This is where I first became aware that people were not joining or they were leaving the program because they couldn’t afford it. This is a great program it is too much for some budgets. Then I became aware of many other complementary groups and providers that are doing great work, but their clients could not afford their services. A man living alone needed a particular medical alarm to alert caregivers. But he didn’t have the $100 required. A person with Parkinson's needed a wheelchair but couldn’t afford the $500 for a used chair.

It is estimated there are around 7,500 people with Parkinson's in beautiful Orange County, CA where I live. Orange County is a lovely place to live, but some don’t have the financial resources to join a fitness club or see a physical therapist. It started me thinking about what I could do to help gain access to the services that were needed.

While deliberating, I discovered an LA-based charity that was already doing what I wanted to do. They were helping people with Parkinson's who needed some financial assistance.

The answer

Soon, I joined forces with the Parkinson’s Wellness Fund (PWF). A committed and passionate young man and his family founded PWF founded 10 years ago. They saw a need and created programs to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. Today PWF is assisting people all over the country. PWF allows me to assist in providing relief to people with Parkinson’s and their care partners. I am excited that joining with PWF meant that I can help improve the quality of life in my community now. A cure is coming, but right now our focus is on how can we help someone immediately. Every dollar raised can be directed to help people with Parkinson’s in Orange County. The fund can help people with Parkinson's living in Orange County to live a better life. NOW.

A bonus is learning how generous people and organizations can be when made aware of the need. So, there is a lot one can do to help. I would never have dreamed that I would take this path. I encourage you to find that little corner of the Parkinson’s world and give somebody a boost. You soon discover that you are the one getting the lift.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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