On Saturday, April 18, people will gather at Wake Forest Baptist Health Davie Medical Center in Bermuda Run to celebrate movement.
When you think of that word, MOVEMENT, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Maybe it’s dancing or swaying – or even something as simple to you as walking or running. Reading this, you possibly do much of your movement freely and without issue. While every person can experience different symptoms, Parkinson’s often starts with a specific movement: a tremor in a hand, moving in slow movement, stiffness, and a loss of balance.
For Parkinson’s disease (PD), movement is also proven to help manage symptoms, and Moving Day is a celebratory event and fundraising walk that unites people living with Parkinson’s, caregivers, and loved ones. Aside from the walk, there are movement-based activities like yoga, Tai Chi, boxing, dance, and more. Folks can sign up as a team or individual, and join hundreds of other people working towards a common goal: to help beat Parkinson’s.
More than one million Americans are living with Parkinson’s, and 60,000 more are diagnosed each year. One of those people in 2006 was Diana Parrish’s husband, Bubba. “Every year, there are so many people diagnosed,” said Parrish, “and there are so many resources available to them.” Resources that not everyone is aware of and Parrish’s goal is to raise awareness throughout the Carolinas because it’s a journey that no one needs to be on alone.
The awareness of these resources is just one of the reasons why Parrish works with the Foundation: 23,900 people in North Carolina alone are 45 and older and have Parkinson’s. “You hear about the person that just sits in their recliner,” says Parrish. This is often because people are afraid to go out, get hurt, or be seen with the stigma linked to the symptoms. “And people often die from complications, not of Parkinson’s.” This often leads to a life that is less than it could be. The Foundation is working to change that with the idea of “living well” with Parkinson’s.
Aside from Moving Day, there are resources that further this “living well” mission, resources like wallet cards that say, “I’m not intoxicated, I have Parkinson’s,” because symptoms like shuffling feet and swaying can mimic intoxication, and the Aware in Care kit, useful tools and information to help a person during their next hospital visit. The kits include things like information cards, action plans, an ID bracelet, fact sheets, and medication forms. Over the past five years, 1,540 Aware in Care kits prepared people in our area with planned and emergency hospital trips.
Beyond these resources, support has reached 3,985 people with expert care annually at the two Centers of Excellence – Duke Health Movement Disorders Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine – where two researchers received grants for their work and 685 health professionals were trained to provide better care. It seems like a lot, but the need is there for more assistance.
“There are so many ways to help out and offer time and more to the Foundation,” said Parrish, “Moving Day alone needs 75 volunteers, and beyond that, there are so many opportunities to be involved.” These range from financial support and donations, volunteer opportunities, and advisory board positions. If you’re interested in getting involved, you’ve got someone to talk to: “I want folks to reach out right to me to see how they can get involved,” said Parrish, “This job is truly my calling.”
Join the supportive community on Saturday, April 18, for moving day and help the Parkinson’s Foundation reach their $80,000 goal. For more information on Moving Day, Parkinson’s, and volunteering, visit parkinson.org/Carolinas or contact Dianna Parrish at firstname.lastname@example.org.