'Living With Parkinson's Disease' Symposium
The Parkinson Society of Dickinson County held a "Living With Parkinson's Disease" Symposium Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford.
Over a hundred people from all over the U.P. came to attend the symposium. It was put on for Parkinson Disease patients, caregivers and friends and family, by someone who is all too familiar with it.
"I have Parkinson's, and I felt all alone and isolated," said facilitator of the Parkinson Society of Dickinson County support group Pauline Hill. "I pulled away from my friends and going to functions and I thought, 'This is ridiculous!' I just felt it nagging at me that I needed to do this."
The "Living with Parkinson's Disease" Symposium gave those who attended a special opportunity to learn more about the disease that they may not have ever gotten the opportunity to.
"There are very few neurologists in the U.P. and some of them (PD patients) are just being treated by their family doctors," Hill said. "Coming here, they can learn more about Parkinson's Disease than they might have heard from anyone else. They have an opportunity to listen to these specialists that they don't get to listen to, otherwise."
One of those specialists was the keynote speaker who traveled all the way from Lubbock, Texas to be there. She covered topics on medication, understanding Parkinson's, how it affects caregivers and how it's possible to still live a healthier, happier life with this incurable disease.
"You may have Parkinson's, but Parkinson's doesn't have you," keynote speaker and director for Southwest Parkinson Society Jo Bidwell said. "We want you to live that quality of life with Parkinson's. And if they do things like exercise and take their medication properly, they can live that quality of life."
Vendors from health-related agencies were also on-hand, providing information to attendees.