“The Team”

I was listening to the BBC World Service broadcast this weekend and heard a very interesting interview with John Harbaugh, coach of the Baltimore Ravens NFL football team.  One of his guiding coaching philosophy’s  came from the legendary University of Michigan coach Bo Shembechler who believed in “The Team.”  Many of the Parkinson’s support organizations talk about the need for a team approach in battling Parkinson’s.  For example, The National Parkinson’s Foundation (NPF) have designated Centers of Excellence and Care Centers that provide a team approach. In fact, that designation is what led to my visit to the University of Florida Movement Disorders Center in January.  You can read about my visit here.

Now the Michael J Fox Foundation and AbbVie Inc have teamed up to form Partners in Parkinson’s which “… aims to fill in knowledge gaps, provide new educational tools and resources for the Parkinson’s community to help Parkinson’s patients and caregivers optimize care at every stage of the disease, now and in the future.”   Their motto is ‘Discover the Benefit of  Team’ and they have a great website which is chock full of good information including a section on “Building your Care Team”  In addition to the website they are conducting informational events in cities across the country (we are signed up for the Atlanta event in September) and the site includes a search tool to find Movement Disorder Specialist (MDS) in your area.

Of course ‘My Team‘ includes my doctor, my neurologist, my physical therapist and the other medical personnel who are in charge of my medical care. But of even more importance, my team includes my wonderful wife/primary caregiver, family members, friends, the other PwP bloggers I read or follow on twitter, the members of the support groups I attend, and you, the readers of this blog. All of you provide me with needed support, both physical and mental, helping me deal with my Parkinson’s disease. You are all appreciated and I thank you for your support.

And for me and other People with Parkinson’s ‘Our Team‘ includes the many researchers who are out to find better methods of treating or curing Parkinson’s and the many organizations such as The Michael J Fox Foundation, the National Parkinson’s Foundation, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the Parkinson’s Action Network and others who provide us with up to date information, help to prioritize and fund the research, and advocate for our rights.  All of the ‘Our Team’ members need and deserve our thanks and support.

As I mentioned in my last post, I continue use the Fox Trial Finder to look for clinical trials and I have been accepted in one that tracks my typing cadence to measure my fine motor skills.  I suppose they are measuring that cadence right now 🙂  I will get the results at the end of the 90 day test period.  I definitely notice problems with my fine motor skills so will be interested to see what they discover.

Last week was support group week and we attended both groups.  The East TN group included a presentation on adaptive equipment available to deal with problems like putting on shoes, buttoning shirts, cooking, eating, etc.  The local group presentation was from a Physical Thereapist who is trained in the LSTV BIG program developed for Parkinson’s patients.   The program is a four week, four days a week training program that aims to improve gait, trunk rotation and balance.  I had read about the program but was not aware it was offered locally.  Last weekend was also high school graduation weekend for our oldest grandson, Garrett , more on that exciting event in the next post.

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