On Sunday, June 7, we will lace up our sneakers and set out to walk three miles around the expansive Reebok campus in Canton, Mass. We are certain that we can cover the distance because we are walking with a purpose – to raise money for the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA).
The APDA calls this annual fundraising event the “Optimism Walk.” This may seem like an incongruous title if you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. But optimism is one of the most important tools for those coping with Parkinson’s.
We know, because seven years ago we learned that our Dad, Mark Tobin – our tough, indestructible, rock solid Dad – had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. And, while “optimistic” was not our first reaction, our entire family quickly rallied around our Dad to offer the help and support he would need to fight the persistent advance of the disease.
There have been ups and downs in our Dad’s fight with Parkinson’s. A little over a year ago he went through a bad spell, losing the ability live the lifestyle he desires. Fortunately, he was able to undergo deep brain stimulation (DBS), a remarkable procedure that is one of the direct and immediate benefits of the research being done. The DBS procedure had a very positive effect on our father, and he is still able to work, drive a car, and enjoy his grandchildren.
If it were not for the APDA we might never have known about DBS. In fact, without the APDA’s efforts the procedure might never have been created.
The APDA has played an important role in assisting us to better understand Parkinson’s and to cope with the changes and challenges our father has faced. The work the organization does in supporting families affected by Parkinson’s, as well as the money they provide for research into treatment and medication, has helped to equip our family (and thousands more like us) to fight the battle alongside our father.
Our work at 2Sisters Senior Living Advisors has brought us into contact with a number of families who are also dealing with a loved one with Parkinson’s Disease. Our own experience with our father has made us even more aware of the additional challenges faced by those responsible for planning for care and finding the appropriate living situation, be it Independent, Assisted Living or a Memory Care living option. We walk in solidarity with them, with the hope that money we raise will help all individuals with Parkinson’s and their families.
We hope you’ll join us. Walk with us if you can. Support our walk financially if you choose by making a donation. Or just keep us and our Dad in your thoughts.
For more information on the Optimism Walk, or to donate, please visit: http://apdaparkinson.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=15491
Michelle and Alyson