BENEFITING: Parkinson's Foundation INC
ORGANIZER: Parkinson's Foundation INC
EVENT DATE: Apr 30, 2017
My Uncle Doug was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008, at age 76. My Aunt first noticed the slight tremor in Uncle Doug’s hand. Then his balance seemed off and not too much later his feet started to drag slightly when he walked. Following his diagnosis, Uncle Doug was placed on customary medications prescribed to Parkinson’s patients. Around five years following the Parkinson’s diagnosis, Uncle Doug also started to exhibit symptoms of dementia including forgetfulness, loss of concentration and attentiveness in what was going on around him. He was no longer interested in the little things that used to appeal to him like reading a favorite magazine or watching a preferred TV show. Uncle Doug was no longer able to do the things he had enjoyed for years including tackling handyman projects around the house and cottage and tinkering on his beloved vintage sports car. My Aunt is the primary caregiver and has found this to be a very challenging experience emotionally and physically. Emotionally she has lost her companionship of her husband and best friend of 59 years. Physically it is not just the struggle to move, lift and care for a six- foot man but also having to take full responsibility for all the little things he used to handle around our home. In October 2016, eight years after the Parkinson’s diagnosis and upon the recommendation of his doctors, Uncle Doug was placed in a full care facility. Falls had become too common due to his loss of balance and muscle weakness. Uncle Doug is now wheelchair bound and must be fed, dressed, and bathed. He is unable to communicate except for a whispered word or two produced only with extreme effort out of the side of his mouth. It has been very hard for his family so watch him decline over the years. He was such a wonderful energetic man full of life. I am an avid runner and I have completed a few half marathons’, but one of my bucket lists items was to complete a full marathon before my 50 birthday. Living in Northern California I wanted to stay local and have signed up for the Big Sur International Marathon. When I found out that I could run for a charity I immediately signed up to run with the National Parkinson’s foundation – Team Hope. I am so proud to raise funds for such a great cause.