P a r k i n s o n ’s
SEPTEMBER 15, 2012
In the United States, 50,000-60,000 new cases of
diagnosis. Because there is no cure, doctors are
PD are diagnosed each year, adding to the one
focused and dedicated to finding treatments that
million people who currently have PD. In fact, it
help control the symptoms of PD.
is estimated that four to six million people around
In recent years, there has been heightened
the world suffer from the condition.
awareness about the disease through well-known
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative brain
actor Michael J. Fox, who (like Carla) was also
disorder that progresses slowly in most people.
diagnosed at a young age.
What this means is that individuals with PD can
Source: National Parkinson’s Foundation
live for twenty years or more from the time of
SEPTEMBER 18, 2012
So, even knowing that something was potentially
the bathroom and
“up” with her health, Carla went to her first
had the first of what
neurologist visit, solo. Pat traveled frequently for
I assume was many,
his job, so she was often on her own for parts
many good cries. I
of the week. It wasn’t at all unusual. It was,
know there are
however, at this visit to the neurologist that the
dozens of friends
loss of her health and the potential gravity of her
and family members
disease first hit.
who now wish we
After reviewing her case, she once again heard
could have been there
the word Parkinson’s from a physician — which
is harsh and knocks the wind out of you even
when delivered with compassion.
It broke my heart to later hear her relay the story
that on leaving the doctor’s office she stopped in
with her so she didn’t
have to come to the
of having this disease
on her own.