Letter to the Editor: Take part in Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Take part in Parkinson’s Awareness Month

This April, I urge the folks in the Lowcountry to take part in Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Nearly one million Americans live with Parkinson’s Disease and many of them, including my father, are living right here in Beaufort.

There is currently no cure.

I am 56 years old and now part of what is being coined the “sandwich generation” though I’m not sure if I’m a club sandwich or opened faced! I have a 90-year-old father whose greatest wish is to be able to walk on his own from his bed to his easy chair.  I have learned a lot from my father’s fight with this debilitating neurological disease.  While most people recognize Parkinson’s Disease from the most visible symptom being tremors, I know too well that there are other symptoms, some devastatingly frightening and sad, which are not easily visible.

I have become involved in the Beaufort and Port Royal Parkinson’s support group. This group has helped me to better understand and deal with my dad’s disease and as a result improve his quality of life!  I am proud to note that both the City of Beaufort and the City of Port Royal have joined the group in declaring by proclamation that April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

Let’s make a difference this April during Parkinson’s Awareness Month!  I invite those affected by Parkinson’s disease, including family and caregivers, to attend the support group meetings held on the first Thursday of every month at Shell Point Baptist Church. For information on the group, please call (843) 525-1229 or (843) 252-3001. If you know someone with Parkinson’s Disease, please consider making a donation to one of several Parkinson’s foundations or advocacy groups.

Rick Ostrander, Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of Beaufort & Port Royal

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