I have never been on a train before. When you spend the last three decades of your life fighting just to exist, traveling is usually put on the back burner. But here I am, with a glass of wine and looking out the window of the Amtrak going 110 mph. With the beautiful scenery of Rhode Island zipping by, I am tapping away on my laptop feeling like the luckiest gal on the planet. The landscape is incredible. I consider myself to be a pretty skilled wordsmith, but I am devoid of colorful adjectives…. I can’t even attempt to put you in my shoes.
So why am I on this wonderful east coast adventure? I’m on my way to New York City’s annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk, which is one of the largest Parkinson’s community events in our Country. Everyday, I look for ways to connect with people in the Parkinson’s community. I wish I could say that this is a completely selfless act, but the truth is I get much fulfillment from meeting new Parkies and others along my adventures. Some people ask me, “Is it difficult to work with people who are struggling with medical issues everyday? It seems like it could be depressing.” It is actually the opposite.
When I feel drained, depressed or unmotivated, I push my challenges aside and realize that I am not alone. Being active in the Parkinson’s community has given me the chance to hear many tales of love and inspiration. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing your story. Find events in your area and get involved, because we are stronger in numbers.