April showers bring May flowers, but March winds and late-season snowstorms bring tulips, gray clothing, and Parkinson’s Awareness month. This year, Lititz, Pennsylvania, hosted their first ever event in honor of Parkies, caregivers, researchers, and allies everywhere.
PARKINSON’S AWARENESS WALK
Lititz is a beautiful town that is filled with country decorations stores, jewelry shops, small businesses, and restaurants. It’s about 25 minutes from where I live (Ephrata). Thus, it’s nice to know that I don’t need to go to Philadelphia (90+ minutes away) to advocate for our cause.
More importantly, this event is a sign that change is coming to the rural and suburban areas outside of the cities. Knowing that Reading and Lancaster (2 big cities in eastern Pennsylvania) are creating support groups and spreading the word says that better days are coming for people who face Parkinson’s every day.
Here, the community wants to help. They want to find a cure. They recognize the power of elbow grease, brain power, science, and healthcare to make a difference.
Now, all we have to do is walk to raise awareness and funds to power those processes!
MY OTHER CAREGIVERIn my life, I’m lucky to have a 24/7 team of caregivers in my family and friends. First and foremost of these people is my wife. However, she was on the 14-day disabled list after she had gallbladder surgery, so she was unable to walk. My dad was competing for his fishing tournament crown (we’re all a part of his support team for that). That left my mom and me to do the 1-mile walk around the hospital.
THE EVENT ITSELF
When we arrived on the scene, we were some of the first people to join in the festivities. Soon other people joined us, too. A gentleman tied balloons for kids, while Cylo (the Barnstormers’ mascot) gave hugs to all of those people who met him. Considering it was a hot day, there were lots of water bottle stations to hydrate us. That’s definitely a good thing for a guy with hyperhidrosis walking around an exposed path.
It was also a happy feeling to see so many Parkies in various stages of their condition. I have always felt that one of the best ways to campaign is for those people who are living with a condition to be out and about. We should stay active, and open to discussion about the good, bad, and the ugly of Parkinson’s. By simply showing our faces in many places, we represent the human experience in the chaos of Parkinson’s.
ROCK STEADY SUEAdditionally, there are people who want to make a difference for us. These include one of the head honchoes at Rock Steady Boxing, Sue Ludwig, who was more than happy to knock the Parkinson’s out of my life. She and the rest of her staff are also happy to help Parkies avoid the rigidness in the bodies. Additionally, they improve their strength, balance, and confidence.
And this is what all of the people who were giving their time in energy were doing on April 14th. Simply put, we’re in this together, and we’re making a difference because of how we work with one another.
Because of this, the future is ours!