On Wednesday, State Directors and Assistant Directors representing the Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) stormed Capitol Hill to advocate for issues facing our community. We met with our Senators and many of our state representatives in Congress. Even though I have done this a dozen or so times, the experience is exhilarating and empowering. I don’t deny that walking the miles of marbled corridors left a few souvenir blisters and left me with a good night’s sleep, but it also gave me a sense of accomplishment.
The experience on the Hill was remarkable but even more wonderful is the camaraderie and friendship generated when we all got together. I thank you all for your advocacy work and the difference you make and strive to make. I truly enjoyed seeing all of you and look forward to our next encounter. Until then, I wish you well.
Next Monday, hundreds of the United States’ most dynamic and involved advocates for the rights and issues affecting people with Parkinson’s Disease will convene in our Nation’s capital. The goal is to be heard and represented but mostly to be understood that we, as a collective force need better funding and services.
Neurological disorders are rising as is the aging population. Even more importantly, younger and younger people are receiving neurological related diagnoses that one might find in an older patient. Whether the cause is our growing toxic world and/or a genetic component that gets triggered or some cocktail of switches, a desperate portion of our population seeks a solution to a real problem that plagues them everyday, all-day.
In less than a century our country replaced vacuum tubes for Silica chips, went from the horse-drawn carriage to the space shuttle, put a man on the moon, and mapped the human genome. Where is the push to eradicate or even slow neurological illnesses? Great strides have been made in other diseases. New therapies and drugs, while slow to come, only slow or mask symptoms. It is time for a push and a unification of voices to be heard in DC and across the nation that more must be done.
The PAN advocates are coming to DC to speak for the countless victims, both directly and indirectly, touched or shaken by Parkinson’s Disease. They are speaking for those who are unable to speak for themselves.
To learn more about PAN and to view an online webcast of our symposium, go to www.parkinsonsaction.org.