Posted by Nancy Mazonson
April has been designated as Parkinson's Awareness Month by the US Senate. For the past 17 years, Parkinson's activists have been coming together in New York City's Central Park for the Parkinson's Unity Walk. This year, I will be joining them to add my voice and footsteps to support those who live with this challenging disease.
The goal of Parkinson's Awareness Month is to shine a spotlight on the national impact of Parkinson's disease (PD), the most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States after Alzheimer's. For people who live with this disease day to day or have a family member with the disease, there is a hope that greater awareness will result in two important things: newer and better treatments that will cure, slow, or stop its progression and greater awareness that the person in front of you in the grocery checkout line who is fumbling with his/her coins or moving a bit slowly might just need a little extra time because of PD.
For people living with Parkinson's disease, every month is Parkinson's Awareness Month. Chances are that you might know someone with the disease. If you do, call them and tell them you care. And in fast-paced Boston, if you see someone who is moving slowly or awkwardly, take the time to take a deep breath and offer them the gift of your patience.
Nancy Mazonson, MS, OTR/L, has coordinated the Parkinson's Family Support program of JF&CS since its inception in September 2006. The program is a leading resource in the Boston area with its unique programs, including Parkinson's Dance, Adult Child and Care Partner support groups, and Tremble Clefs choral singing group. Prior to her work at JF&CS, Nancy worked extensively as an occupational therapist in inpatient and community-based rehabilitation settings, specializing in helping people with degenerative neurological conditions.