Posted by Nancy Mazonson

On Sunday, March 20 more than 140 people came together at JF&CS Headquarters in Waltham for a community celebration with the JF&CS Parkinson's Dancers and the Tremble Clefs choral singers in recognition of nine years of building the JF&CS Parkinson's community. The event was attended by program participants, caregivers, family, community members, and supporters.

In addition to a moving program, attendees were asked to write down what music and dance meant to them on a large poster affixed to the wall. They shared some familiar and profound themes:

  • "Sharing music and dance with such wonderful people is the highlight of my week."
  • "This is a great outlet to share and overcome – together -- in a fun community."
  • "Music connects us at the heart."
  • "We are all in this together."
  • "Music lifts me up!"
  • "It makes me feel happy and alive."
  • "Music and dance put me in touch with my body."

It was also a wonderful opportunity for family members of people with Parkinson's to see their loved one in a uniquely uplifting and positive setting. One participant, whose millennial daughters accompanied her to the program, shared that her daughters' favorite part of the event was seeing how happy she was when she performed.

Thank you to all who made this program possible and to those who came from near and far to attend. The event was an inspiring afternoon that truly celebrated the resilience of the Parkinson's Family Support program participants.

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.