Five million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease — a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder. In the United States, 60,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease.
I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease going on seven years ago. As a family we have incorporated the challenges of PD into almost everything we do. We work very hard to adapt to the changes as the disease progresses, but work just as hard not letting it limit us in how we live.
Parkinson’s is often described as a snowflake disease. The symptoms can and are very different for many people. Most people automatically think of the common tremor associated with PD, but there are so many more challenges people with PD face and sometimes the shaking is minimal or non-existent.
For the next 30 days of April I’d like to share with you some of the different challenges via my Instagram account @_lifeaseric. My goal with #30dayswithparkinsons during this Parkinson’s Awareness Month is to show people many of the challenges not typically known about PD, share how we as a family choose to navigate these challenges, and, hopefully, increase an awareness of Parkinson’s in general. My hope and prayer is that this disease never becomes a part of your life, but we all have challenges that present themselves in different seasons of our lives. One of ours is Parkinson’s right now and my intention with #30dayswithparkinsons is not a “poor me” exhibit, but rather a “poor Parkinson’s” to mess with our family and a “we CAN do this” and “so can YOU” no matter what your challenge!
Finally, my wish for #30dayswithparkinsons is meant as a letter to my children about how to live life. This disease reminds me and teaches me about how to live EVERYDAY. As my children live and grow up with Parkinson’s in their lives I want them to watch and learn from it as well.
Don’t get me wrong. We pray and hope for a cure for Parkinson’s and so many other diseases. But during this time it is with us we thank God for the opportunity for what PD teaches us about family, life, and each other. Below is a link to our Life as Us Team Fox page which is the fundraising branch of the Michael J Fox Foundation. We will have some fun ways to donate during the month of April that include giveaways, but we’d be humbled and honored if you would just donate $5.00 today which is the same price as a fancy coffee drink. (Did you know studies show caffeine can help prevent Parkinson’s?) Our goal is to raise $2000 for the month of April, but even more important is to just learn something about Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases.
Thank you from the bottom of all our hearts!
-Team Life as Us