I’ve been wrestling with starting a Parkinson’s blog for awhile now. What would I say, I don’t have Parkinson’s.
What do I know that patients and their loved ones don’t already know? Would anyone read it? Are the people I know tired of reading posts about Parkinson’s? Am I obsessed with it?
I’m not sure I have any of those answers. But what I do know, is that since my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2006, a new world has been revealed to me and my family.
Parkinson’s has invigorated my father into fighting. It’s made him laugh, it’s made him cry (he’s made a lot of us cry, too.) But it’s made him decide not to sit by and let this disease take from him without putting up a fight. It’s made my mother join a trial, to help do her part and find a cure. It’s made me write a lot. And it’s made my sister be the strong one. The one of us who is there alongside my parents when I’m 16 hours away.
The three of them, they see and battle this disease daily. While I sit in Pennsylvania. So maybe starting this blog and being a part of it is how I’m trying to be a better part of the family. To give more in the best way I know how — my words.
So what do I want to do? I want to show you what Parkinson’s is. What it does to a person. What it does to their loved ones. I want to show you the funny side, the bad sides. I want to share medical advancements, news, and local and other events and people who are all working for one goal: Hope of a cure.
I want to introduce you to some of the most amazing people I’ve met along the way. To the people like John Ryan – who has early onset and runs more than I’ve ever run in my life. He runs for himself. And he runs for a cure. To the people like my father, who in three years has raised $80,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation to fund research for a cure.
I hope to get the rest of my family blogging, too. To document and share our journey.
I had orginally wanted to call this blog: Harmons fighting Parkinson’s. Because we’re not taking this sitting down. We’re reaching out to people we know, and people we don’t know — and we’re begging them to care. I’m begging them to care.
Because curing Parkinson’s doesn’t just selfishly cure my father and the people I’ve met along the way. I truly believe advancements against Parkinson’s can and WILL help many neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. And that affects even more people I know.
I’ll start off with a video that my father doesn’t like, but that I think for the first time shocked me into realizing (or imagining) what it must be like. And it’s not pretty.
I hope you’ll take this journey with me. With us.