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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!

 

 

World Parkinson Congress’s Video Is Ending Soon–So vote this week!

Pick your favorite video!

Pick your favorite video!

The top 12 videos have been selected, now it is the people’s choice to decide who will be crowned this years winner!

Be sure to see the videos and cast your vote by clicking  here: http://www.wpc2016.org/page/top12

Shoes, Coffee, Advocacy, and WPC 2016

First thing:

I am NOT a paid sponsor nor have I been compensated for these comments:

I guess you could call this a “footnote”–okay, bad joke, but I think some of you with foot problems and balance issues, might just find benefit in trying these shoes. They are the cost of a good running shoe and they have a return policy if the shoes don’t work out: My only mention of these shoes here is because I have found them to be so comfortable–period. My wife and I recently discovered these

Comfort and Stability

Comfort and Stability

running shoes made to accommodate for more space for a wider foot. We each got a pair–she loves that her heel doesn’t hurt and I love the comfort and flexibility that it allows my toes. I can say that these are the most comfortable shoes that I own!  I just think this product should be known. I haven’t sold out and I won’t sell out. I will only share products that I use, find great benefit, and feel that they may have a positive impact on your life. The shoes came from altrarunning.com.

Second Thing:

I want  to commend my friend, Sonia Gow on organizing her first Parkinson’s Cafe! Her event was a smashing success as over 50 people in the Fairfax, VA,  area attended. The event was like a free-flowing support group and a great opportunity to share and catch up with friends. We are so lucky to have Sonia’s passion and vision for helping the Parkinson’s community so close by. Check out her site at  www.parkinsoncafenetwork.org. to learn more.

Third Thing:

My friend Jean Burns is bringing awareness to some very important concerns involving clinical trial participant and hospital policies. After you have read this, share it with friends and family. This is an eye-opener. Here is the article in US News World Report.

Fourth Thing:

The 2016 World Parkinson Congress registration deadline for discount is nearing (July 5), so register soon. Don’t forget about visiting the author Book Nook and Wellness Way while you are in Portland, Oregon. This event only happens every 3 years and as an international event in North America, this is a great opportunity to learn from doctors, researchers, practitioners, and patients across the globe. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and learn  from neurological experts from all over the world. Go to WPC2016.org to learn more.

Make Art–Help Out ForgingResilience.org

Checkout the artistic innovators at http://www.forgingresilience.org and assist them in creating art for the 4th World Parkinson Congress in Portland, Oregon this September 20-23, 2016.

Provide them with a photo and/or a quote for their art installation. A tree of resilience with thousands of leaves with each leaf representing a quote or photo. It will be on view. Share your story and be represented on the tree (see photo on their site) by providing your information by Friday, April 22. If you or someone you know is touched by Parkinson’s disease, please let them know about this project.

Visit their website for details about how you can be part of this event – http://www.forgingresilience.org

April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month!

Spread the word!

Spread the word!

If you didn’t know, April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month!

Also, if you didn’t know, in September, the World Parkinson Congress 2016 (WPC) meets in Portland, Oregon where thousands of people with the illness, doctors, researchers, authors, and other experts in their fields will convene to meet and discuss what is new in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. If you haven’t looked into going, I would highly recommend that you do. This will be my third WPC event. For more information on the event, visit WPC2016.org

Viewing of Capturing Grace in DC!

Beautiful film!

Beautiful film!

Last night, I attended a viewing of Dave Iverson’s touching film Capturing Grace. The documentary chronicles the lives of a group of fellow Parkinsonians (Brooklyn Parkinson Group) and their transition into becoming dancers through the instruction of David Leventhal and the Mark Morris Dance Group. The film captures the indomitable spirit and drive of the group’s members and the rock solid bonds that unite them through the power of dance. The story leads from classes and rehearsals to the moving public performance that the group openly shares what they have learned and accomplished.

I was grateful to actually meet Mark Morris and David Leventhal and thank them for their contribution to the Parkinson’s world.

If you haven’t seen Capturing Grace or you want more information on dance and Parkinson’s, the Dance for PD model is one to strongly consider!


By the way, for you film directors and Hollywood hopefuls, don’t forget about the World Parkinson Congress’ video competition, now open for entry!

If you are an author with a book consider sharing it at the Book Nook event at the World Parkinson Congress in Portland! For more information on both of these exciting mediums, click here for more information about the 4th World Parkinson Congress.

Nutrition, health, and news to come from World Parkinson Congress (WPC) and the Brian Grant Foundation (BGF)

Nutrition in general is a vital component to our daily health and to someone with Parkinson’s, diet is even more crucial. Staying hydrated and eating the right fruits and vegetables will keep your digestion active to help avoid constipation. The better your gut is working, the more likely you are going to get top efficacy from your medications.

Summer color and flavor
Summer color and flavor

Eating local from Virginia farmer’s markets in spring and summer is a treat and is my healthiest alternative since I don’t grow my own food. When buying fruits and veggies that are shipped far distances it is easy to forget that produce that travels miles loses some of the nutritional potency as opposed to that of a local provider. Winter and fall is a bit more of challenge for me to eat local.

I noticed a tremor in my left foot at age 17 that only showed up sporadically. At age 23, and after about 9 or so different doctors, I finally got my diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease. It has been over 30 years since my first noticeable symptom and not far from 30 years from my diagnosis date. I truly believe that eating low on the food chain and eating vegetarian has helped me remain on a low dose of medicine.

If it is true that we are what we eat, and I do, then we need a greater awareness and more consideration for the fuel we load into our bodies. Food and food science has changed our diets dramatically with additives, emulsifiers, and sweeteners. I am careful to eat organic whenever possible. I eat healthy but there are times when my craving for a cookie or chip takes over and I have to submit to the urge. Overall, I stay aware of what I am eating and how it may interact with my medication. I am very protein sensitive and my medication can fluctuate tremendously when it comes to dairy, nuts, eggs, and soy.

Trying to find a product without high fructose corn sweetener, wheat, or citric acid, in a large conventional grocery store is more of a challenge these days. Understanding your food now requires knowing a little more chemistry than when I was a boy. Good nutrition is achievable but like most important health decisions a healthy diet takes preparation, planning, and forethought.

Eating healthy isn’t always the cheapest of ways to eat, so compromise and alternatives have to suffice at times. It is so important to read those labels and know what is in your food to make the best choice.

On a personal level, I have little doubt that my being a long-term vegetarian has been of benefit in my digestion and pill absorption as well. Eating lower on the food chain and eliminating meat products helped me maintain my weight, improve my energy level, clear my skin, and feel clearer of mind to boot.

As the 2016 World Parkinson Congress (WPC) nears its arrival to Portland, Oregon, also the home of the Brian Grant Foundation, I am excited to hint about a program that will soon be released. The Power Through Project (PTP) is something new and an event for everyone to take part in. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements. See you in Portland!

A Soft Voice blog name WPC Blogger Partner with World Parkinson Congress 2016!

WPC Official Blogger PartnerI am so honored to have been chosen as a WPC blogger partner for the World Parkinson Congress (WPC) 2016 in Portland! If you haven’t been to a WPC event, I whole-heartedly encourage you to join us. Meet amazing people living with Parkinson’s disease, learn about the research and important work being done around the world. Held every 3 years, the Congress returns to the United States’ host city of Portland, Oregon for the 4th gathering on September 20 -23, 2016.

From WPC – “WPC Inc. has expanded its partnership program to the global community of bloggers in the Parkinson’s space.  If you are interested in our WPC Blogger Partner program, email us at info@worldpdcoalition.org.”

Having attended the Congresses in Washington, DC and Montreal, I can tell you the event is packed with information, inspiration, and an array of wonderful international presenters. Hear the most recent research on Parkinson’s and experience the multitude of therapies being used by people affected by the illness. Make new friends, learn about what’s happening in Parkinson’s, and explore a southwestern gem of a city. Watch for my posts and tweets about WPC announcements. I hope to see you there!

Karl

@asoftvoicepd

Let me hear from you!

I want to know if you have questions, comments, or suggestions for upcoming posts. Are there specific topics related to Parkinson’s that you want me to write about?

Check  out the National Parkinson Foundation’s (NPF) new First Connect My Page program site and register. I recently wrote 4 articles for the project. Go to the NPF site for more information.

If you’ve read my book, A Soft Voice In A Noisy World : A Guide To Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease, please consider this:

  • If you enjoyed reading my book, please review it on one or more of these sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GoodReads, Smashwords, Kobo,Google Books, or any other site you frequent or feel would be a good place to promote the book.
  • Please tell your local bookstore and library  that A Soft Voice is available for easy ordering from Lightning Source. This makes ordering for libraries and bookstores who want to have copies in stock very convenient.
  • If you have a support group and are considering a bulk order to sell, giveaway, or are considering  a book club with the book, please send us  mail.
  • I speak frequently to Parkinson support groups, conferences, and medical groups and can speak on the book or a wide range of topics if your organization is in need of a speaker.
  • 5 Tips For Today
  • Most time-release pills have a matrix makeup and should not be  split, so check the bottle and/or ask your pharmacist.
  • Citrus and pills are not always a good combination, so make sure the citrus and your pills don’t interfere with each other.
  • The mind, body, and spirit, are all connected so feed all three! Challenge your mind,  Work the body, Calm your spirit.
  • Laugh, laugh, laugh.

I will be attending and speaking on a panel at the World Parkinson Congress on creativity. If you are attending the event, please come by!

Have a great day!

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