In my city people hide the disease but there is a Parkinson’s Association in Lima, so I hopped on a plane to see who I could meet. Well, providence stepped in… before I even got out of Arequipa I met a lady (and her son) whose father had Parkinson’s disease. I was able to chat with her about everything related and she happens to work in health insurance and can use her connections to find patients. She stated as we pulled into Lima “ Next year we’ll celebrate in Arequipa – even better than LIma”.
What a great start to my trip.
World Parkinson’s day is celebrated by people with Parkinson’s Disease and their families all around the world on 11th of April. In Lima there were a hundred people in attendance. There was a special guest, Carlos Alvarez, a comedian whose mother had died from the disease recently. He is helping get media attention and he’s already done that by making a short show about his experience and introducing some people with Parkinson’s and the issues they face.
I also told my story of getting Parkinson’s disease and how important exercise has been for me. I told them about being an unexpected gymnast and I really connected with the audience who smiled or laughed at my jokes. There was even one lady who doesn’t know what rhetorical questions are but that made it fun too. I was able to make many new friends and interviewed about 11 people in person in Lima. The night ended with music and dancing which is a lot of fun. I’m very excited to see the future of the Association and how it’s growing and educating about parkinson’s disease.
Photos speak louder than words so enjoy.