Parkinson's is a Family Affair
VANCOUVER, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - April is Parkinson's Awareness Month.
This year, Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC) wants to raise
awareness that Parkinson's disease (PD) affects the whole family. When
someone in a family has Parkinson's, family members must learn how to
live with the disease, too. Whether it's a wife helping her husband to
manage his medications, an adult daughter arranging long-term care for
her aging mother who has Parkinson's, or a child who must learn to
accept his father's awkward movements, Parkinson's disease is a family
Jeanine and Meagan know what it's like to live with Parkinson's disease.
At 45, their father was diagnosed with PD. Jeanine was in Grade 4;
Meagan was in Grade 2. Although life has been a challenge for this
Delta family, both young women have found ways to adapt to their family
situation. "When I got upset, I would start researching Parkinson's,"
says Jeanine. "When I learned my dad was not going to die from it, I
realized life wasn't over. It was just going to be different." Today,
Jeanine, a first-year university student, is considering neurology as a
profession. Meagan, 16, is an honor roll student who keeps busy with
horseback riding, playing soccer, walking dogs and teaching piano. "I
try not to think about the disease too much," says Meagan. "It's a part
of our life and there's nothing we can do about it." To involve their
father with their school work, both daughters depend on their dad to
proofread their essays. "He enjoys knowing what we're learning," says
Meagan. "But he's a tough marker!"
Parkinson's disease is a chronic degenerative neurological disease
caused by a loss of dopamine in the brain. It affects more than 11,000
British Columbians. Although a person with Parkinson's is often
recognized for his or her lack of motor control, non-motor symptoms
include depression, loss of sense of smell, sleep disturbances and
cognitive changes. The average age of onset is 60, but it can affect
people as young as 30 or 40, like Jeanine and Meagan's father.
Parkinson Society British Columbia helps individuals and families who
are affected by Parkinson's disease. "Every year we receive hundreds of
enquiries from people across the province," says Diane Robinson, PSBC's
CEO. "We are here to help them learn to live with the disease. We
connect them to support groups, host education events, and often refer
them to other resources.
Parkinson Society British Columbia
Established in 1969, PSBC is a not-for-profit registered charity that
exists to address the personal and social consequences of Parkinson's
disease through education, outreach, scientific research, advocacy and
SOURCE: Parkinson Society British Columbia
For further information:
Diane Robinson, CEO | 604 662 3240 | firstname.lastname@example.org