Life living!

Who’s who in the Parkinson’s Community

I am constantly meeting people with Parkinson’s or others (in person or online) and I struggle to keep all the names and faces and facts together so when I was chatting with George – he asked me remember his Mum Sharon forever, to raise for awareness and hope for a cure. What a beautiful son? I won’t forget you George and Sharon. http://togetherforsharon.com

If you go to PDAvengers you’ll find a list of Who’s who in the Parkinson’s World. It isn’t everyone but it is a start!

https://www.pdavengers.com/

More Details from George:

My main focus in life today is Parkinson’s disease awareness and hope for a cure in my mother, Sharon Riff Ackerman’s memory.

My number one drive is togetherforsharon.com Sadly my mother, Sharon Riff Ackerman passed away on 1/1/2020 due to Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. My mother lived with Parkinson’s for decades, but it started to affect her daily activities in 2014. Up until then she was able to spend her favorite day of the week, Sunday, with us in the backyard, blowing bubbles with her grand kids, eating the best meals we could find, but only after a lively debate over where and what she wanted to eat. I miss those funny arguments. I also create videos on awareness to share for awareness. I also participated in podcasts, interviews, articles, television, radio, blogs and magazines to ensure my mothers story is never forgotten.

My family created togetherforsharon.com for Parkinson’s awareness & hope for a cure. I wanted a place where people could find information since I could not when I needed help desperately.

“My mother was the most caring, loving, positive person I know, and always put her family and friends first” Sharon’s son, George. 

Selfie Bands. The wristband band was created in January 2020 as a tribute to my mom, and as a way to raise awareness of Parkinson’s Disease, as we continue to hope for a cure, in memory of my mom Sharon Riff Ackerman. We have self-paid and send over 1,500 around the United States so those who want to help keep my mother’s memory alive, support awareness and hope for a cure. If you go to togetherforsharon.com we post many of the individuals’ pictures with the band selfie and share it with over 5,000 people on social media.

Fundraising We help fundraise and participate in events for the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (Optimism Walk), Parkinson’s Foundation (Moving Day) and Team Fox, the Michael J Fox Foundation. All donations that go to those organizations have a direct link in my mother’s memory at togetherforsharon.com

Partnerships  In only a few months I have met so many incredible people who are also going through the effects of this horrible disease and caretakers. I have partnered with organizations around the world and feature them on social media and togetherforsharon.com to reach more individuals around  the world together.

My main objective is to continue to raise awareness in my mother’s memory. I am confident helping awareness will lead to a cure someday. I need everyone’s help to sharing my mother’s story with one person, wear the band or just following togetherforsharon.com on social media or email me directly at [email protected]

CONCLUSION I am grateful for the opportunity to share my mother’s story. I am just the son of an incredible woman who deserved better then and if we had a cure, she would still be with us right now. She was too young to pass away and missed out on 15 years of   her life struggling with Parkinson’s disease. I miss her every second of every day. She was my best friend. Sharon’s son, George 

Sharon’s son,
George.

Nuevo sitio web en español New website in Spanish.

I have created a Spanish website so you’ll find English below the Spanish

¿Por qué este sitio web?

Cuando me diagnosticaron con la enfermedad de Parkinson aquí en Perú hace 6 años, tuve problemas para encontrar expertos en parkinson, información para educarme y encontrar otras personas con quienes poder asociarme, intercanbiar información y así no estar sola.’

Es muy importante no sentirnos aislados, esa es la razón número uno por la que las personas con parkinsons empeoran.

Por eso después de años buscando todo tipo de información, tengo algunos contactos de confianza y quiero compartir con ustedes, tristemente he escuchado historias de gente que se aprovechan de las personas con parkinson, ofreciendo tratamientos que realmente no sirven y muy por el contrario solo los empeoran.

Por eso las recomendaciones aquí tienen que venir de personas de confianza. Es importante resaltar que está página no tiene fines comerciales, no vendemos productos. Lo que buscamos es promover un espacio donde podamos compartir información útil, y de confianza para todos los pacientes y familiares con Parkinson, un espacio para no sentirnos solos.

Los Menús son:

Directorio de Parkinson en Perú – Eso sería profesionales de Parkinsons quienes están o estén preparándose para ser especialistas de Parkinson. No solo es doctores – puede ser: Dietéticas, logopeda, fisioteraputa, y asociaciónes de  Parkinson en varios lugares del Perú.

Educarse (sobre el Parkinson) – Vamos a dividir enlaces por tema y también incluir Manuales sobre el Parkinson. Todos los recursos serán en español pero a veces son escritos en otro país por eso tengan esto en cuenta que a veces los sistemas de salud son diferentes. Tendremos enlaces para profesionales también para ayudarlos a estudiar.

Noticias – Compartiremos fotos e historias de eventos de Parkinsons en Perú o peruanos afuera del país.

Inscribirse– Estamos animando a todos a inscribirse a nuestra web, para escuchar noticias nuevas y futuros eventos.

Gracias por tomar el tiempo para leer y educarse sobre la enfermedad de Parkinson.

Christine Jeyachandran

Why this website?

When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease here in Peru 6 years ago, I had trouble finding parkinson’s experts, information to educate myself, and finding other people with whom to associate, exchange information, and to meet with.

It is very important not to feel “isolated”, this can be the number one reason people with parkinsons get worse.

So after years looking for all kinds of information, I have some trustworthy contacts and I want to share with you, sadly I have heard stories of people who take advantage of people with Parkinson’s, offering treatments that really do not work and quite the contrary only the get worse.

So the recommendations here have to come from trusted people. It is important to note that this page is not for commercial purposes, we do not sell products. What we seek is to promote a space where we can share useful and trustworthy information for all Parkinson’s patients and families, a space so that we do not feel alone.

The Menus are:

Parkinson’s Directory in Peru – That would be Parkinsons professionals who are or are preparing to become Parkinson’s specialists. It is not only doctors – it can be: Dietetics, speech therapist, physiotherapist, and Parkinson’s associations in various places in Peru.

Educate Yourself (About Parkinson’s) – Let’s break down links by topic and also include Parkinson’s Manuals. All the resources will be in Spanish but sometimes they are written in another country, so keep this in mind that sometimes the health systems are different. We will have links for professionals also to help them study.

News – We will share photos and stories of Parkinsons events in Peru or Peruvians outside the country.

Register – We are encouraging everyone to register on our website, to hear new news and future events. Thank you for taking the time to read and educate yourself on Parkinson’s disease.

Christine Jeyachandran

Not knowing what I was getting into in a good way!

I started the “Parkinson’s secrets to living successfully” video project kind of on a whim. I put it out there as an idea on twitter to see what responses I’d get. It wasn’t long before I got a few interested people responding and sending me their videos. The responses confirmed my hutch that exercise is beneficial and the message worth sharing with the Parkinson’s community.  

Secondly I felt the mix of people would really communicate and connect with more people. 

  • A variety of ages and ages of onset of PD from 30s to 60s
  • A variety of shapes and sizes 
  • A variety of sports and exercise styles and intensity
  • A variety of English speaking countries – USA, Canadian, Wales, Scotland, England, New Zealand and Australia. 
  • A variety of experiences, and
  • all united in the benefits of exercise in treating Parkinson’s disease!

The third realization was that this project was actually going to take a lot of work. I spent a lot of time editing the videos and asking people to send more information or more photos and move video footage. It has all been worth it and thankfully the whole team has been very obliging and positive through the whole process.

The fourth realisation was that we wanted to create a directory of PD organisations that people who had been inspired could contact. Each of the team provided me with details of the Parkinson’s associations and organisations that had helped them and in their context/experience.

And the fifth realisation was that each of the team was willing to share the video with their contacts and organisations related to Parkinson’s. It is thanks to them that the video I has had 1200 views in just over 3 weeks! Video 2 has had over 400 too.

As I watched their stories I got to know them, their hard work became household conversation at our dinner table, their trials and successes and interesting facts. When the kids came into the office they said “that is Tanya” or “that is …”. The funniest comment was my son – he said “Is that my grandma?”. He is nine so not the least bit confused but these folk kinda feel like friends and family. 

I loved the inspiring individuality each brought to the project and I wanted to include all their stories but I couldn’t… I can’t wait to meet them at the World Parkinson’s Congress in Barcelona in JUNE 2022!

My favourite details and quotes(from menory) about the team: 

John
Blogger, Runner and very involved with TEAM Fox.

“Find what you enjoy…I do it for the medals!”
Miriam 
What a long list of sports she plays that I couldn’t include! Impressive! She is a World Parkinson Congress Ambassador

“Exercise is a great antidepressant”.
Kitty  
Comedian, Mother to 4 kids including twins and certainly full of personality. 

“I hate exercising!”
Tanya 
She is a weight lifter, need I say more? She runs a podcast Parkinson’s Road and is now becoming a fitness instructor. I loved her honesty!

“I’d cry on my way to the gym”
Jon 
He has visited every Rock Steady boxing in the USA, he surfs, does hard obstacle races and he is an ambassador the World Parkinson’s Congress

”Some used walkers and they don’t need them after taking up boxing”
Emma
Ninja warrior, She does karate and so much more. This lady can do cartwheels and handstands better than me and without training! She has 3 kids and was nice and honest too.

“I need it (exercise) in my day – If I don’t I get grumpy”
Eirwen 
She is already an avid campaigner in the PD Community and shared our video widely. I loved her input and feedback!

“I can play with the grandkids in the floor”
Jonny
Doctor, artist, animator and finalist for WPC video competition. Check out his socer balls skills. Impressive! 

”Set yourself a goal, if you fail just keep trying”
Alison
Boxing cycling, you name it! Amazingly strong!

“It doesn’t matter what you do… just start doing something”
Robyn

Google analytics tell me that New Zealand is our highest video viewer, thanks to Robyn and Emma and Kitty, despite it’s small size.

“It fixed my frozen shoulders”
Euan
He sent me amazing footage of him doing amazing things – I wished I could have used it all!

“It is theraputic hitting things” (boxing bags not people I assume). 
A.C.
He is an outdoor kinda person, hiking, canoeing you name it. He is also a World Parkinson’s Congress (WPC) Ambassador and is our brave team leader of the ambassadors.

“See you in Barcelona!”

And finally me: Christine – My claim to fame in the Parkinson’s world is my video “Handstand for Parkinson’s, also a finalist at the WPC 2019 and I too am a WPC Ambassador. My focus is encouraging everyone to come to the Parkinson’s World Congress 2022. I am so pumped to meet my team and you can meet them too (of course I am assuming they are all coming!)
 I’ll quote AC says“See in Barcelona!”  

So here is to the team and a sequel video in Barcelona at the World Parkinson’s Congress 2022. 

Video Launch – “What are the Benefits of Exercise? Parkinson’s secrets for living successfully!

“The Amazing Benefits of Exercise in combating Parkinson’s Disease”. People with Parkinson’s from around the globe unite to share their stories. #parkinsonsawarenessmonth #empoweredbyexercise #Parkinsonssecrets #parkinsonsdisease

Thirteen people with Parkinson’s from all around the world have joined forces to create a video about the benefits of exercise. Each has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological degenerative movement disorder that  affects one’s balance, ability to walk, coordination and range of movement. Each experiences Parkinson’s differently but one thing is quite common – People with Parkinson’s are often apathetic or struggling with motivation because of the shortage of dopamine.  Muscle stiffness can make movement difficult, but fighting this movement disorder requires movement.

These Parkie’s are all passionate about one message. They want to encourage others to exercise to combat Parkinson’s because they’ve benefited dramatically; physically and emotionally. Most have found a sport they love which keeps them motivated and a community that helps motivate them too.  This video comes with a sequel discussing “What keeps you motivated”. 

These empowered people implore you to: 

“Start exercising, any physical activity you enjoy doing. Then do it with determination and intensity”. 

Though the world has stopped for COVID19, Parkinson’s disease never takes a day off and neither should you. Waiting to begin an exercise regimen is not an option. This video inspires and gives hope in a time of crisis.

Australian Christine Jeyachandran initiated this video project because she wanted to encourage others positively and knows what it is like to struggle: 

“I had to overcome apathy, doubts, fatigue, and fear but the benefits have been worth the effort” says Christine. Christine was diagnosed at 37 year of age with Parkinson’s Disease. Her story Handstand for Parkinson’s was selected as a finalist at the World Parkinson’s Congress amateur video competition. She grew in confidence, set new goals and kept training. She made a Before and After video which systematically shows contrasting footage of her balance, coordination, flexibility and sheer strength and it has inspired the Parkinson’s community. 

The power of exercise and targeted physical activity to help people live well with neurological conditions cannot be overemphasized”  stated Professor Meg Morris Parkinson’s exercise expert researcher and Head of Allied Health and Professor of Clinical & Rehabilitation Practice at La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia. 

The Sequel to this video is “What keeps you motivated?” which is an equally necessary topic. Click this Link below:

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Christine Jeyachandran

Directory of Parkinson’s Organisations

I am so glad you are reaching out to find Parkinson’s exercise classes. It will be hard but as you’ve seen on the video, our team knows it is worth it.

It might be best you try your local Parkinson’s association and they can tell you what is running locally. This list is from the English speaking world of the video participants. We’re happy to add other groups little by little. Just comment on the post. 

Organisation NameWebsite Link
WORLD
World Parkinson Congress – #WPC2022 in Barcelona https://wpc2022.org/page/barcelona
World Parkinson Coalitionhttps://www.worldpdcoalition.org/
OCEANIA
Parkinson’s New Zealand https://www.parkinsons.org.nz/  
The Duncan Foundation (NZ)www.duncanfoundation.org 
Parkinson’s Australia https://www.parkinsons.org.au/
PDWarriorhttps://pdwarrior.com/
Dance for Parkinson’s – Aushttps://danceforparkinsonsaustralia.org/
UK
Parkinson’s UK  +44 808 800 0303https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/exercise
UK NHS – Exercise https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/free-fitness-ideas/
Dance for PD in Waleshttps://ndcwales.co.uk/dance-parkinsons
National Exercise referral scheme (Wales) https://www.wlga.wales/national-exercise-referral-scheme-ners
Cure Parkinson’s Trusthttps://www.cureparkinsons.org.uk/webinar-exercise
Wear Undefeatablehttps://weareundefeatable.co.uk/
Reach Your Peak www.reachyourpeakonline.com
Parkinsons Care and Support UK (PCSUK)http://parkinsonscare.org.uk
Organisation NameWebsite Link
CANADA
To find a list of resources available in your area visit Parkinson Canada www.parkinson.ca 
In British Columbia www.parkinson.bc.ca 
To find a Rock Steady Boxing class near you www.rocksteadyboxing.org
For online exercise classes & other great stuff visit U-Turn Parkinson’swww.uturnparkinsons.org
If you are newly diagnosed Davis Phinney Foundation can help https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/teams/doug-pickard/ and www.fluidfitstudio.com 
Organisation NameWebsite Link
USA
American Parkinson Disease Associationwww.apdaparkinson.org
Parkinson’s Foundationhttps://www.parkinson.org/
Davis Phinney Foundation (Boulder, Colorado, USA) https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/blog/how-to-encourage-people-with-parkinsons-to-exercise/https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/resources/parkinsons-exercise-essentials/
Parkinson Wellness Recoveryhttps://www.pwr4life.org/
Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Centerhttps://www.barrowneuro.org/get-to-know-barrow/centers-programs/muhammad-ali-parkinson-center/
Invigorate Physical Therapy & Wellnesshttps://www.invigoratept.com/
Dance for Parkinson’shttps://danceforparkinsons.org/
Rock Steady Boxinghttps://www.rocksteadyboxing.org/
Michael J. Fox Foundationhttps://www.michaeljfox.org/
StoPD  https://stop-pd.org/
ParkinsonsDisease.nethttps://parkinsonsdisease.net/
Parkinson’s Resource Centerhttps://www.parkinsonsresource.org/
LSVT LOUDhttps://www.lsvtglobal.com/LSVTBig
Blogs/ Podcast /Other
Christinehttps://handstandforparkinsons.com/
Eirwenhttps://peptalking.home.blog/2020/02/12/patiently-exercising/
TanyaParkinson’s Road Podcast
https://www.buzzsprout.com/686759
Johnpdfitonline.org
Kittywww.kittyfitton.com

Ambassador for the World Parkinson’s Congress 2022 – Embajadora de Congreso Mundial de Parkinson.

I am honoured to be chosen as an Ambassador for the World Parkinson’s Congress in June 2022 in Barcelona.

What is a WPC Ambassador you ask?

They are people who have Parkinson’s who are passionate about living well with Parkinson’s and help others do the same. They have attended a congress, I did last year in June in Japan, and they are so excited about the next one and would have booked their tickets already if they could.

“Ambassadors will work as part of our outreach team as we plan for the WPC 2022 in Barcelona, Spain from June 7 – 10, 2022. Whether giving talks at local support groups, writing articles in papers or on blogs, making themselves available to speak about the WPC to communities wanting to learn more about why to attend a World Parkinson Congress, they are invaluable members of the WPC team and we are thrilled to have them on board” WPC website.

It is very exciting and I am looking forward to working with the team of 15 others. I am the only ambassador south of Mexico so I have a lot of ground to cover. The joy of this conference is that it will be in Spanish too so that means that it is important to get the South Americans along while it is in their language.

ESPAÑOL

Me siento honrada de ser elegida embajadora del Congreso Mundial de Parkinson de junio del 2022 en Barcelona.

¿Qué es un/a embajador/a de Congreso Mundial de Parkinson (WPC)?

Son personas con Parkinson apasionadas por vivir bien con Parkinson y ayudar a otros a hacer lo mismo. Han asistido a un congreso, lo hice el año pasado en junio en Japón, y están muy entusiasmados con el próximo y ya habían reservado sus vuelos si pudieran.

“Los embajadores trabajarán como parte de nuestro equipo de promotores y planeamos el WPC 2022 en Barcelona, ​​España, del 7 al 10 de junio de 2022. Ayudaran dando charlas en grupos de apoyo locales, escribiendo artículos en periódicos o blogs, poniéndose a disposición para hablar sobre el WPC a las comunidades que desean aprender más sobre por qué asistir a un Congreso Mundial de Parkinson, son miembros invaluables del equipo de WPC y estamos encantados de tenerlos a bordo” del sitio web de WPC.

Estoy muy emocionada y espero trabajar con el equipo de los 15. Soy el única embajadora al sur de México, así que tengo mucho terreno por recorrer. La alegría de esta conferencia es que también será en español, lo que significa que es importante llevar a los sudamericanos mientras están en su idioma.

 Estoy disponible para hablar en reuniones.  ¿Quien va con conmigo a Barcelona?

https://wpc2022.org/page/2022ParkinAmb?fbclid=IwAR2EFTsD92iMBNv5AofTy23kOsY3PUtPiqpPIoinAX3KOvI5h5zk56RnwLY

A runner? Not I!

I AM NOT a RUNNER but today I ran/walked 7km in 58 minutes. Mindpower is the key. Last year I did the same distance in 1 hour and 30 minutes y so that is a 32 minute improvement. In 2014 I did the same distance in 1 and 10 minutes. So from my PB I improved 12 minutes.

How? Well it is not training, that is for sure. It was mind over matter. I figured if I could achieve my handstand and climb a rope in gymnastics then I could push myself a bit harder with running too.

So instead of giving up. I run then I walked and then ran then walked and so on until I got to the end and I totally surprised myself. I was amazed! I am now determined should my knees hold out to improve my time next January… not sure what to aim for but if I try training running, that has got to help in the least.

Parkinson’s is like a rope climb!

Parkinson’s is like a rope climb. You think you can’t do it but you hold on for dear life. But you start to climb, it aches, the rope burns. You keep trying. You learn new techniques. Little by little you move up and feel a sense of achievement. But always leave energy for the descent.

Starting the Parkinson’s Association in Arequipa

Speaking at a Lima event of the Parkinson’s Association

The process of starting the Parkinson’s association in my city is taking time. That is the way life is here in Peru as there is always paperwork and permissions and more paperwork to be done. But because of this delay I organised a more intimate meeting with a handful of people that I know to see if I could build up the trust between us. 

Edith (name changed) is a retired teacher who I have heard speak various times and always admired as she is so interactive and creative in the way she presents. I invited a group of pastor’s wives to my home, including Edith,  for a time to encourage one another and before long she mentioned she too has Parkinson’s disease. She didn’t know that exercise helps slow the advance of the disease. It was a surprise, but it shouldn’t be as my research shows that people with Parkinson’s (PWP) in Peru don’t have a clear understanding of how exercise rebuilds the nerve connections again and practice and movement help with coordination and walking.  To make a long story short it is exciting as Edith helped me host the first Parkinson’s association meeting in my home. Her talk were real blessing to others.

Another member is a lawyer Pablo (name changed) whose wife I know through my current circle. He is very capable in helping me with the paperwork for the association and also helping set it up legally.  His story is that he had been told he ‘shouldn’t dance or exert himself too much’. He actually struggled with this advice as he loved dancing but had to give it up. But scientific studies say the exact opposite. Dancing is an excellent form of exercise as the music helps move people too. Scientific studies say that while stretching is good but one needs to also get out of breath,  – which in Spanish is ‘agitarse’ – like agitate yourself a little. Dancing is great for Parkinson’s but so are running, walking, boxing, yoga and many other forms of exercise. They help with movement and prevent rapid disease progression. Exercise also helps with depression, and social interaction with exercise is great too. 

But this man has had the disease over 10 years, still works full time, and is now accustomed to inactivity. I have heard it said that people with Parkinson’s are resistant to exercise. This sounds strange but depression and apathy are also common and affect motivation. 

So pray for this new friend who wants to help with the association that he’ll have the time and energy to help and that also he can find the motivation to get exercising. I believe he can do it… he just doesn’t know it yet. His wife told me how amazingly smart he is and I don’t doubt it but sadly sometimes Parkinson’s affects so many parts of one’s life and this affects one’s confidence. 

It may all just take a little longer than I had planned but we had a lovely time together with just 5 of us in total. I hope we can integrate others soon.