The raw grief of diagnosis slowly has ebbed away, but living on, it visits from time to time, but never to stay. But strangely there is joy that’s hard to explain. not joy in trouble walking, not joy in aches and pains, not joy in insomnia, I try not to complain But there is joy in working hard despite my fears There is joy in achieving goals though it takes years There is joy in comforting others and in empathy There is joy in sense of purpose and pure clarity There is joy in fighting for others who don’t know how. There is joy in others helping, I’m not alone now Today whatever raw emotions catch me unaware, I know the best is joy and I willingly will share
Well I had big plans for this fundraiser: I was going to climb a mountain but COVID19 means that after 6 months we’re still on lockdown in Peru. We are only supposed to go out for shopping. So no mountain climbing. So plan B….. but first what am I fundrasing for.
Going to World Parkisnon Congress last year CHANGED MY LIFE!
I have made a short video about it on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/591502886/videos/10157825732897887/?extid=Zl9ANwhhjbO7NBGQ
It empowered me to reach out to help the Parkinson’s community in Peru. I’ve started a Parkinson’s association in my city and I’m educating my community about Parkinson’s, drawing on what I learned the World Parkinson’s Congress. I’d like to see others with Parkisnon’s to also be empowered to help their community here in South America and beyond. I’d probably not be doing what I am doing without the inspiring experience of being a part of the World Parkinson’s Congress.
As you can imagine getting to go to such an international event is expensive, so we are raising funds travel grants to subsidize those in need. The congress is in June 2022 and this time it is unique because it will be in Barcelona in Spain. This is super exciting for Latino’s because it means that it will be translated or presented in Spanish as well as English. This means it is the perfect opportunity to get Peruvians and other Spanish speakers along and empowered to come back and lead their communities.
My aim is to raise $2,000 before my birthday on the 28th August
Thank-you in advance for your generosity. Every little bit counts.
No mountain climbing so what am I doing? What is plan B?
A 10-day physical challenge. I will be exercising everyday sharing a video daily via facebook. I’m a little behind in posting as I had a problem I’m trying to sort out with facebook. My next blog will explain the glitch but I’ll post the first video today.
I am having a fundraising for my birthday (28th of August) which is usally done through facebook fundraising but they won’t allow me to use their system because I live in Peru.
I wrote to Mark Zuckerberg an email similar to this:
I signed up in January to raise funds WPC for YOPD. The money goes directly to the World Parkisnon Congress (not to me) though it must be set up from my personal facebook account.
IT SEEMS STRANGE that I am not allowed to raise funds with facebook fundraising for my favourite charity? I went to the WPC facebook page and I can’t even donate? This fundraiser is for my birthday on August 28th. I’ll be 44.
If it was money just for a personal cause I’d understand but this fundraiser is part of a legitimate charity and you can find my profile has been on the website since January. https://wpc2022.org/page/wpc4yopd
I don’t get any money from the fundraising. I just want to help others get along as the World Parkinson’s Congress changed my life for the better.
I made a video about my story of combating parkinson’s by using gymnastics – it was one of the 12 finalists for the video competition. I have kept going ever since and now reach out to my community to help others by running classes and setting up an association.
I am already going to the WPC so this is to raise funds for others – especially my friends who can’t afford to go but I know they would benefit a lot.
Quick note: Please subscribe to my blog to get new updates. Thank-you for reading and commenting too.
Usually activities shut down over Christmas/ new year but something in me said “Let’s start this group and keep the momentum going”. So we started in November and continued with meetings in December, January and February and March with Dr Karlos Lizarragas’s visit. It was a busy few months but it turned out to be a good decision because the week after the Doctors visit we all went into lockdown. I was grateful that I got to know the people who came and connect with them over the ‘summer break’. Now we can’t meet and it is day 108 of the lockdown and we’ve got at least a month to go and because many are elderly and at risk it will be some time before we can meet again.
This is a newspaper article that appeared in the CORREO newspaper the week Dr Karlo came. I have attached the link but have included a rough translation as the article in in Spanish. It might be old news but it reminds me to keep sending them messages of hope and encouragement by whatsapp or sms to my people here and since I didn’t translate this is earlier it is still new to most of you. Please note it is a loose translation and sounds a little strange but you can get the gist. 😉
This article is titled: “Those affected by Parkinson’s take on the challenge to to fight against Parkinson’s”
The Activate Association of Parkinson’s is growing and on Tuesday, March 3, they will receive the Arequipa neurologist Karlo Lizárraga Mendoza 03/01/2020 at 12:30
Last December, The Correo (newspaper) spread the encouraging message of Christine Jeyachandran, an evangelical Christian missionary, who manages well her symptoms in her body although it is affected by the disorder of the central nervous system. Three months later, her aim to create the Parkinson’s League – ‘Get Active'(Activate) is paying off with 26 people attended the last meeting. Christine, who has overcome the limitations of the disease through gym sessions, wishes her peers a similar experience. The first step, and perhaps the most difficult, has been to encourage this significant group of people of different ages to come along and not hide at homes. They are now the founding members of Actívate, and the next step will be to involve everyone in physical exercise as therapy.
Limitations. Parkinson is terrible: the physical limitations, the inability to speak loud and clear, tremors, dragging feet, drooling, diminished facial expression, the lack of balance, the frustration of not walking well, all this causes a heavy load of vulnerability that you carry to everywhere” says Christine to describe the diagnosis of parkinson’s. Activate began on November 3 with 5 members supported by two professionals from the Honorio Delgado Espinoza hospital, one of them is the psychologist Rita Ames who has strengthened Christine’s knowledge of group management and emotions of those affected by the disease.
Since then until February, they have met three times and each time the number of members has increased, reaching 26 people who have left isolation and are willing to continue on the path of integrating and growing the League, eager to achieve control of your movements. “Affected people do not have to be embarrassed in our meetings. You don’t have to explain your symptoms to anyone here because we understand each other. The reason for our name, Get active (Activate yourself), is that we want to do gymnastics, but we haven’t started for various reasons, but the first thing is that they came out of hiding, “says the promoter of the organization excitedly. In these sessions, with the help of the psychologist Rita Ames, everyone can share their ideas, some very shy and others less, they tell their stories, tears are not lacking because they finally have people by their side who understand them.
TO THE FAMILY. The meetings are focused on educating people and their families about the disease and about exercises that can help overcome their symptoms to improve their quality of life. Rita Ames indicates that many suffer from depression and apathy but they are explained how the Activate League will work, that is, with their participation. They find it hard to stop focusing on their weaknesses, but little by little they have shown hope in their eyes. One of the participants, Juan, acknowledged that at first he was only interested in reinforcing his depression due to the disease and its symptoms, but now he maintains the hope of engaging in physical exercises as a means of reducing them and thus improving his quality of life.
MUCH FAITH. “Telling PD patients they have a movement disorder and leaving it at that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It would be better to tell them, “You have a disorder in which the motivation for movement is significantly impaired, along with movement . But by knowing that, and using conscious mental effort, you may be able to override the impairment to a significant degree” says Canadian psychiatrist Norman Doidge, and members of the Activate League have begun to believe it.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
“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 storyHandstand 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 aBefore 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:
Over a 100 people attended the visit of Dr Karlo Lizarraga. He was so genuinely interested to meet people and hear and answer their questions. He is from Arequipa but lives in the US.
More than 60% of the attendees were new contacts for Activate and we now have doubled the number of people with parkinson’s we have with 80 with almost 60 on the whatsapp group and new calls coming in everyday.
I was thankful for all the people with Parkinson’s (PWP), friends and family of Activate who helped out. We also couldn’t have done it without Dr Isabelle Carmago organising a huge auditorium in the hospital. Volunteers did registration, drinks table and brought gifts.
I didn’t want to talk too much so Elizabeth shared beautifully her story. Juan brought tears to my eyes as he shared that he has new hope for the future. Juan kinda took over the show and isn’t that what every leader wants, people empowered to step up and take things on.
Another friend who helped with the projection – at last minute she went out of her way to go and borrow a projector and set it up. Then the video wouldn’t play. So we struggled and finally got it going but without sound. Thankfully my friend Favi who kindly took the photos of the event noticed the problem and corrected the sound and we restarted with sound. What a relief. The video was a new before and after of my experience with gymnastics.
As it was finishing the lady beside me leaned in and said “so exercise helps with Parkinson’s disease”….yes!!!! I reiterated this point again that yes exercise can improve your symptoms and movement and increase your quality of life.
Dr Lizarraga is introducing a form of telecare which should be able to help the Peruvian patients but it is early stages so I won’t try and explain it. Dr Lizarraga is also working on advancing the training of neurologists here so that should people with Parkinson’s.
DR Lizarraga visit and the patient support our group provides is something exciting for the community of Parkinson’s and I hope and pray especially the professional community will be willing to be trained in new methods of managing parkinson’s.
Our next event aims to help train professionals to assess Parkinson’s patients and recommend exercise plans for them with Dr Koni Mejia from LIMA. We’ll be doing this on a practical way with real patients and teaching some exercises that help PWP.
Special thanks to Dr Lizarraga for helping us in effect “launch” Activate in a more prominent way. He has also helped me think through some of the issues and define our aims too. Organising his speaking engagement (with the hospitals help) has turned into a mentoring role, even if by email. Thanks Dr Lizarraga.
ESPAÑOL – Visita del Dr. Karlo Lizarraga a Arequipa
Más de 100 personas asistieron al conversatorio del Dr. Karlo Lizarraga. Estaba tan genuinamente interesado en conocer gente y escuchar y responder sus preguntas. Él es Arequipeño pero vive en los Estados Unidos.
Más del 60% de los asistentes eran nuevos contactos para Activate. Tenemos ahora 80 contactos, y 60 en el grupo de WhatsApp y nuevas llamadas todos los días.
Estaba agradecida por todas las personas con Parkinson (PWP), amigos y familiares de Activate que ayudaron. Tampoco podríamos haberlo hecho sin la Dra. Isabelle Carmago organizando un gran auditorio en el hospital. Los voluntarios se registraron, cuidaba un mesa de bebidas a y trajeron regalos.
No quería hablar demasiado, así que Elizabeth compartió bellamente su historia. Juan trajo lágrimas a mis ojos cuando compartió que tenía una nueva esperanza para el futuro. Juan ayudaba con el programa y esto es lo que todo líder quiere, la gente está capacitada para dar un paso adelante y asumir las cosas.
Otra amiga ayudó con la proyección, en el último momento, ella hizo todo lo posible pedir prestado un proyector y configurarlo, pero el video no se reproducirá, así que luchamos y finalmente lo pusimos en marcha pero sin sonido. Afortunadamente, mi amiga Favi, quien amablemente tomó las fotos del evento, notó el problema, corrigió el sonido y lo reiniciamos. Qué alivio. El video fue un nuevo antes y después de mi experiencia con la gimnasia.
Cuando estaba terminando, la señora a mi lado se inclinó y dijo “así que el ejercicio ayuda con la enfermedad de Parkinson” … ¡sí! Reiteré este punto nuevamente que sí, el ejercicio puede mejorar sus síntomas y movimiento y aumentar su calidad de vida.
El Dr. Lizarraga está introduciendo una forma de teleasistencia que debería ser capaz de ayudar a los pacientes peruanos, pero es una etapa temprana, así que no intentaré explicarlo. El Dr. Lizarraga también está trabajando para avanzar en la formación de neurólogos aquí para las personas con Parkinson.
La visita al DR Lizarraga y el apoyo de los pacientes que nuestro grupo brinda es algo emocionante para la comunidad de Parkinson, espero y oro especialmente para que la comunidad profesional esté dispuesta a recibir capacitación en nuevos métodos para manejar el Parkinson.
Nuestro próximo evento tiene como objetivo ayudar a capacitar a profesionales para evaluar a los pacientes de Parkinson y recomendarles planes de ejercicio con el Dra. Koni Mejía de Lima. Haremos esto de manera práctica con pacientes reales y enseñaremos algunos ejercicios que ayudan a PWP.
Un agradecimiento especial al Dr. Lizarraga por ayudarnos en efecto a lanzar “Actívate – Liga Contra el Parkinson” de una manera más prominente. También el doctor me ayudó a pensar en algunos de los problemas y a definir nuestros objetivos Mientras organizando su compromiso de conversatorio (con la ayuda del hospital), el se a convertido en mentor para mi, incluso por correo electrónico. Gracias Dr. Lizarraga.