My Father, My Brother, and Me

Producers' Forum

Hope for Parkinson's

By David Iverson on February 3, 2009 8:00 AM | Comments (5)

We hope you'll join our live online chat after the broadcast tonight. No doubt one question that will come up is whether or not we should be hopeful about Parkinson's. I've been thinking a lot about hope recently ... it's sort of hard not to these days, isn't it? And so in this last blog post, I'd like to say something about that four letter word.

Harvard chaplain and author Peter Gomes has written, "The only hope we've ever had is out in front of us, leading and guiding us to a place we've never been before." And that's essentially the challenge that's in front of both Parkinson's researchers and those living with the condition. We have to get to a place we haven't been before, and hope is central to what gets us there. No doubt we'll have plenty of setbacks on the road ahead ... no doubt there will be times when we feel the battle against Parkinson's won't be won.

But sometimes I think we focus too much on "winning" and "losing" the battle. And while I have no doubt that someday we'll find a cure for Parkinson's, I also recognize it may not be anytime soon. In the meantime, what we can do is fight the battle. And that's what gives me hope.  My colleagues and I have met so many dedicated researchers who stay up nights trying to solve this mystery. We've met so many people whose perseverance, adaptability and grace show the rest of us what it really means to win. I have hope because of all of them. I have hope because of my remarkable family. And I have hope because we can't afford to be without it. 

And don't forget -- we'll continue this conversation in our live online discussion following the broadcast tonight, beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern time. See you back here tonight! 

 

5 Comments

Bill Trewin said on February 3, 2009 8:52 AM:

Hi Thank you for a truly wonderful film on Parkinson's. It will be very helpful to everyone living with or involved with the care of people with PD. As a former runner I found a trick that helped me to continue running longer. Take a wide rubber band wrap it around your weak wrist and leave a space of a couple of feet and wrap the other around the wrist of your good wrist. The good side will pull the weak side in a more natural motion. About 4 years ago I started Nordic Walking. It really helps with balance issues and when I add music very interesting things happen. One marathon and 15 half marathons later I still get that runners high at the finish line. Check out my blog at http://nordicwalkingmaritimecanada.blogspot.com Bill Trewin, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada Age 55 diagnosed at 49. ""I have Parkinson's...........it doesn't have me"
Jim Staats said on February 3, 2009 8:30 PM:

My father acquired a Park syndrome subsequent to surviving an infection of Spanish Influenza during 1918-19 age 10-12 dob 2/2/08. The probability that it was a direct sequela of the influenza is high. So, the possibility of a biological vector should not be totally disregarded. He was very athletic but the decades wore on and by the 50's oculogyric crisis and gait issues socially isolated him and relatively primitive operations (2) rs ls at St Bernards in NYC were performed. Although the agitans were reduced. by the 60's the dementia symptoms, increased difficulty swallowing etc isolated him socially (almost stigmatized in our small community). Leaving a scar that I never healed; He died in 68. Enough; remember a BIO vector is possible and exercise is golden. Good luck, and God Bless
Jim Staats said on February 3, 2009 8:34 PM:

My father acquired a Park syndrome subsequent to surviving an infection of Spanish Influenza during 1918-19 age 10-12 dob 2/2/08. The probability that it was a direct sequela of the influenza is high. So, the possibility of a biological vector should not be totally disregarded. He was very athletic but the decades wore on and by the 50's oculogyric crisis and gait issues socially isolated him and relatively primitive operations (2) rs ls at St Bernards in NYC were performed. Although the agitans were reduced. by the 60's the dementia symptoms, increased difficulty swallowing etc isolated him socially (almost stigmatized in our small community). Leaving a scar that I never healed; He died in 68. Enough; remember a BIO vector is possible and exercise is golden. Good luck, and God Bless
Erin O'Brien said on February 3, 2009 9:37 PM:

Thank you so much for this special. My father was diagnosed with Parkinson's a few years ago. Watching your special has caused me, a non political person, to become more political. I never realized that the politics that I so much ignored had such an effect on my father's health. I hope that many more advances are able to be made with the use of stem cell research. Your special effected me both emotionally and politically. I must believe: We will see a cure sometime soon...my father will be able to play with his grandson who is now 16 months.
Leonie Newson said on February 3, 2009 10:34 PM:

Thank you for the discussion I have just watched. I was particularly interested in the possibility of a genetic link as I too have Viking heritage. My PD is not severe, mainly limited to an extrapyramidal tremor and a feeling of exhaustion. Your comments re exercise confirmed what I am finding that, by doing a little at a time, I am able to achieve a quite a lot per day and that keeping on the move is a vital element of coping with PD.

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posted january 29, 2009

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