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Five or More Questions with Polly Dawkins

Meet the people leading the Parkinson's organizations!

Meet the people leading the Parkinson’s organizations!

 

Introducing, Five or More…, a series leading up to the World Parkinson Congress 2016 in Portland–meet some of the Executive Directors and leaders in the Parkinson’s Community as they answer a range of some required questions and some optional: Polly Dawkins of The Davis Phinney Foundation, was kind to agree to go first.

Here are eight questions. Five of them are encouraged that you answer. The remaining three questions are your choice whether you want to provide an answer or not. Thank you for being the first to try this experiment!

I have known Polly since she started at The Davis Phinney Foundation and she has been a loyal follower of the blog.

Required questions:

Chinese, Thai, Italian, Mexican, or Ethiopian—what is your favorite cuisine?

Do I have to choose?  Love Asian food and my favorite is Japanese.  Since that’s not the on list…if it’s a great Mexican place (like the food in the Yucatan Peninsula), that’s the food I’d choose.  The spicier the better.  And, Thai would be a close second.

What do you like on your pizza?

Grilled fennel, roasted garlic and mushrooms on an olive oil and light cheese base, topped with fresh arugula and shaved parmesan.

Of the four seasons, which is your favorite time of the year?

Summertime is the only time of year for me.

How many World Parkinson Congress events have you attended?

Montreal was my first Congress and Portland will be my second.

What are you looking forward to most in Portland, (site of the WPC 2016)?

Meeting with members of the Parkinson’s community in person, seeing old friends with whom we have worked, creating new partnerships/collaborations in the community and spending time with the Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassadors.

Optional:

Tell us something about yourself that we might not know about you that you would like to share.

I have the best job ever.  You probably already knew that.   I love to swim and ride my bike.  You probably knew that, too.  Something new and different?   I love spending time in Latin America and speaking Spanish.

Where would you like to go, that you have never been before?

Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Norway (when it’s warm) and Botswana.

What is the Davis Phinney Foundation working on that you would like to tell us?

In addition to working on bringing The Victory Summit to Sacramento, New Orleans, SW Florida, Nashville, Durango and other locations yet to be announced, we are currently working on developing new content and launching a new website for the Davis Phinney Foundation, which should be up and ready by the time we’re all gathered together in Portland.

As well, we are really proud of the quality of life research we’ve funded and what that has meant in terms of changing the way people approach living with Parkinson’s.  As well, we are considering ways in which we can invest in quality of life research that have more direct impact on our programs and the Parkinson’s community as a whole.

Thanks again, Polly!

 

 

My Wife-Angela Robb, Recognized As A Champion of Change!

UPDATE!

Just in case you missed it, here is the video link to the Champions of Change for Parkinson’s disease.

The event was held at the White House.

Left to right: Karl Robb, Angela Robb, Greg Wasson, Davis Phinney.

White House Champions of Change for Parkinson's Left to right: Karl Robb, Angela Robb, Greg Wasson, Davis Phinney
Left to right: Karl Robb, Angela Robb, Greg Wasson, Davis Phinney

 

What a smile! Angela Robb A Champion of Change!

What a smile! Angela Robb A Champion of Change!

As we near April and Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, I would like to publicly thank and recognize the carepartners and caregivers who make our lives better. The carepartner/caregiver can be a tiring and sometimes thankless task.

To my wife, best friend, partner, carepartner, and true love, Angela, I congratulate you on being honored and recognized at the White House as a Champion of Change. I am so proud of you –today and everyday! I am so grateful to be in this life with you by my side! I am so happy that everyone, besides me, sees just how amazing you are!

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month – News and upcoming events

It’s been a long, cold winter and I’m coming out of hibernation. I promise to start posting more as the days grow warmer.  I want to share with you this picture of the first tulip to arrive in my garden.

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month so, I urge you to learn about Parkinson’s disease (if you don’t know about Parkinson’s), teach (educate others about Parkinson’s), or help (if you can volunteer or donate) to any of your favorite Parkinson’s charities!

PD Awareness month tulip - Karl Robb - asoftvoice.com

Here are a few of my upcoming events happening this month:

Please join me Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014 5pm EDT/2pm PDT on Sunday Connections. My wife, Angela, and I will be taking questions about living with and improving your Parkinson’s.  Below is the call in (by phone) or web link:

Sunday, April 20th at 5:00pm EDT /2:00pm PDT
Guest pin code: 200414#
Primary dial in number: (425) 440-5100
Secondary dial in number: (323) 476-3997

Attend by Web:
http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=53148153

If you are unable to be live on the call, you can submit your questions ahead of time by visiting the weblink and then listen to the recording for your question.

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I will be speaking and signing books at the Parkinson’s Disease Education & Support group at the PADRECC in Richmond, VA  on April 24 1-3pm EDT.

Click here to see the flyer for the event.

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On April 26, I will be speaking at the Spring Education Forum of the Parkinson’s Wellness Chapter in Mason, OH.  I will be speaking in the morning and afternoon.  I will also have books for sale and will be signing books.  If you would like more information on this event and to register, visit this website to register.

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On May 3rd, I will be an exhibitor and Reiki practitioner at The Victory Summit hosted by the Davis Phinney Foundation in Dallas TX.  This is a free event for the Parkinson’s community.  To find out more and register, visit the foundation’s website: http://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/victory-summit/upcoming-victory-summits/victory-summit-dallas-tx/

 

The Davis Phinney Richmond, VA Victory Summit – A Success!

Last Saturday, I had the privilege to attend and share some of what I have learned in my living with Parkinson’s disease for over 25 years. The Davis Phinney Foundation’s Victory Summit in Richmond, Virginia brought  together 500 or more people with Parkinson’s disease, their carepartners, and medical experts from around the nation to discuss research and how to live better with this illness. The Event, both inspiring and educational, felt more like a close-knit family and less of a conference event. Having attended many Parkinson’s related events over my many years with this disease, I can tell you that the Phinney Victory Summit is a truly empowering and uplifting experience that educates and inspires its’ attendees. I highly suggest that if you or someone you love has Parkinson’s, that you look into coming to the next one.

The next Summit is in Pittsburgh on September 15, 2012. For more information, go to www.davisphinneyfoundation.org.

Exclusive Interview With Davis Phinney

Davis Phinney knows how to inspire an audience! I have had the privilege of seeing and hearing him speak on his dealing with early onset Parkinson’s disease several times. Davis is an Olympic Bronze Medal winner in cycling. He has achieved more wins – 328 victories in all – than any other US Cyclist.

The insight of Davis’ perspective is truly inspiring and a great way to begin Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. I hope that you enjoy this interview and will share it with others facing Parkinson’s.

I want to thank Davis and everyone at The Davis Phinney Foundation for allowing me this opportunity. What a great way to begin Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. I encourage you to learn more about Davis’ Foundation and the upcoming Victory Summit in Richmond, Virginia on May 19th, 2012.

1. How has PD changed the way you view life?

PD has had a significant effect on me – on my view of life and my place in it. I am much less likely to take things for granted than I used to be, and I’m much more ‘present’ for, and appreciative of, positive aspects to any given day.

2. What has PD taught you that you didn’t know before your symptoms?

It has taught me much about living with disability and disease that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned – and that has led to greater awareness, understanding and empathy – which I view as very positive and grounding.

3. What is your advice to newly diagnosed PD patients?

My advice would be to immediately check out the Every Victory Counts (EVC) manual! being newly diagnosed with this disease, one faces an uncertain frontier, and there may not be a full spectrum of resources or the right resources immediately at hand. We work hard to keep the information in the EVC manual relevant and highly applicable – and based on highly positive feedback from the Parkinson’s tribe – we’re filling a void.  So EVC is a good starting point as well as accessing the local Parkinson’s community for resources, support and connections available in the immediate community.

4. What do you do on a daily basis to fight your Parkinson’s disease?

I start each day with a smile in the mirror an affirmation stating my intention that this is going to be a good day.  I make it a priority to eat well (but not obsessively), take pictures, engage people in conversation and relish in the little victories; a good cup of coffee, a laugh out loud moment, an inspired sunset, etc.

In an active way I engage myself physically whether it’s through yoga, hiking, walking or cycling around town.  Getting outside and breathing and moving is a big key for me, but I feel some form of daily exercise, while good for anyone, is crucial for those of us living with Parkinson’s.

5. How do you think sports and teamwork helped prepare you for dealing with Parkinson’s?

Great question. The way I relate my athletic background in dealing with Parkinson’s is to give myself goals that are not unlike what I did when I was competing, but instead of focusing on winning bike races my focus is on enhancing my daily quality of life.  That’s the goal; to make today better – and in so doing, I setup tomorrow for success and the day after and so on. With PD, it helps tremendously to be self-sensitive, to have self-awareness, to ask the question: ‘how’s this medicine affecting me?’ for example. Athletes are usually instilled with this awareness, so that’s a plus.

As regards teamwork, we are not living with this disease singularly. There are (hopefully) caregivers around us (spouse, family, therapists, doctors), whom you are reliant on. By doing what you can to help yourself, you set a good example for the team and are in a better position to ‘marshal your forces’! Creating a good team is vital to managing this disease.

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