Opinion Columns & Blogs

Calling certain people with Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s is not a death sentence. It is possible to live well, or at least better, with this mysterious malady. Consider these ringing words from Dr. Peter Schmidt, chief research and clinical officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation:

When people describe Parkinson’s disease, they often define it as a disease that is incurable and without treatment to slow its progression. You can change how Parkinson’s affects you, but it takes hard work and dedication.

The key is taking charge of the disease by aggressively seeking the most expert care available and engaging your brain through rigorous exercise and mental conditioning.

I am seeking Middle Georgia Parkinson’s people willing to accept Dr. Schmidt’s challenge to engage fully their PD and relentlessly fight back against the beast.

PD is an ultimately unknowable neuro-muscular — and more — condition. Each case is unique to the person. Even the numbers are approximations. One million cases in the U.S. Seven million worldwide. Fifty thousand new cases a year in the U.S. Second most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s.

I am organizing a Middle Georgia group of Parkinson’s people willing to study the condition in depth and translate that learning into personal action steps. I am experienced in this area. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014.

I was a leader of the PD Self National Training Program. http://parkinson.org/expert-care/Expert-Care-Programs/Empower-the-Newly-Diagnosed

I am a national PD patient advocate (Ambassador) for the Davis Phinney (Parkinson’s) Foundation. I work in Georgia and Florida.

My wife and I moved to Macon in November after 20 years in Tampa. I was a newspaper editor and publisher (the late Tampa Tribune).

I will start the Middle Georgia study group in January. If you are interested in more information please write me at gthelen1@icloud.com or call me at 813-787-3886.