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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 Joy Of Starting A Support Group

Support groups are just a place for people to commiserate and belly ache, or at least that was what I thought they were.  I had attended a group for a year or so, but inconsistently,  for that very reason. I was finding that meeting with the group was having the opposite effect of what I had hoped to achieve. My intention for going to these groups was to learn, to be inspired, and to come away with a better strategy of how I might live my life with Parkinson’s Disease. Rarely, did I get that satisfaction. I don’t blame the leader or the group, the meeting just wasn’t ran that way and the patients in the group weren’t in a place for my type of meeting.

Some support groups are instant successes and others may take delicate pruning. The support group is an ever evolving entity as it rotates new as well as older members. I have seen Parkinson’s  Disease support group members range from the ages of 25 to 75 years of age.  A support group binds everyone in that meeting for  one unified purpose that transcends all cultural or social labels. Rich or poor, famous or not, each of us is there to learn, share, educate, laugh, strategize, congregate, and gain a new perspective.

My vision for a support group came from what I selfishly needed. I wanted to develop a safe and welcoming environment where the group felt comfortable to be at ease enough for 2 hours to be themselves. I saw this support group as an opportunity to develop true meaningful dialogue between patients and even carepartners.  I take great joy and no credit for the amazing transitions that I continuously see in members. Once quiet members who kept to themselves or who had little or nothing to say, now take the initiative to embrace new members in need and are always willing to add thoughtful and meaningful commentary. Watching the group grow and take shape has been a labor of love.

I must admit, I think the group is 8 years old but it could be slightly older. On the evening of our inaugural  meeting, my wife, Angela, and I had no idea how many people to expect. It was a cold damp March night and I was sure no one would come. Much to my amazement, one couple showed up and I am so proud to say that they are our dearest of friends and remain in our support group after all this time.

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