At the Beach — Again!

I am writing this from the deck of a beautiful home overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on Bald Head Island, NC.  Yep, at the beach again!!  More about how we got here later in this post.

I have looked at several more clinical trials but again find that I don’t qualify because I am already on medication.  It seems to me that communication between Movement Disorder Specialists (MDS) or Neurologists and clinical trial operators could increase trial participants.  If the Doctors were aware of the trials being conducted nearby, they could then offer their newly diagnosed patients the opportunity to particpate in the trial before they prescribed a medications.  Of course another issue is travel, most of the trials that I have tried to join are at least 200 miles away and the travel costs are usually not covered.  In her latest blog post, Soania Mathur MD states “…close to 85% of all clinical trials are delayed due to recruitment difficulties and a shocking 30% fail to recruit a single subject.”  The post goes on to discuss both the logistical and the lack of knowledge issues I have discussed above.  The Michael J Fox Trial Finder website does a great job of listing all of the trials in my home radius of 300 miles and they notify me if a new one is added that meets the criteria but the newly diagnosed need to know where to look.  Perhaps one or more of the National organizations can develop a simple brochure that can be supplied to MDS and Neurologists for them to hand out or make available to patients.  It might be a start?

I was asked this week to be a PatientsLikeMe Research Ambassador.  PatientsLikeMe is an online support group I belong to and I had applied to be a member of a research advisory committee they were forming.  While I wasn’t selected for the advisory group I was asked to be a Research Ambassador. Per the email ..”Like the Team of Advisors, our Research Ambassadors are being asked to commit to a program that’s designed to put you in the driver’s seat of making research better.”  As an Ambassador, I will get special communications each month for the rest of the year about new research initiatives, information about data being collected and how it will be used, and use my blog and other social avenues to share this information with the Parkinson’s community.  I have participated in a couple of their research projects already, including the one where I did the voice test over the phone to see if they can track the progress of my Parkinson’s. Sounds interesting and I am looking forward to participating.

We had a great visit with my daughter Holly and grandchildren Charlie and Kayla.  The weather was great until the last evening so we got in a lot of boating, tubing, swimming, fishing and stand up paddle boarding along with side trips to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum and a couple of rounds of mini golf.

Kayla turned out to be the fisherperson extraordinaire hooking a couple of nice catfish and a bunch of sunfish from the dock.  Charlie loved being on the water and riding the tube. Holly and Kayla both enjoyed stand up paddle boarding so much the first time, they went back for more before leaving for home.  It was a great visit and a good time was had by all.

We are enjoying our time at the beach in Bald Head Island.  The island is reachable by ferry from Southport, NC and once you are here, you travel by foot, bike or golf cart.  We have been lucky to spend a week here for the past several summers with my stepson David and his wife Shelly and the two grand kids Breanna and Garrett.  This year Breanna is in MN so this is the first time we have been here without her.  Garrett always brings along a friend or two, this year he brought along 4 high school buddies and they are having a blast.  Dave and Shelly’s friends Mario and Missy have also joined us for the week.  It is a great place to just relax, read books, take long walks on the beach and watch the World Cup.  I am trying to catch up with all of the magazines I haven’t read since we returned from Florida in early March and produce this blog post.  Looks like the blog post will make it, we’ll see about the magazines.

Our friends Mary Ann and Don live nearby in Wilmington, NC so they came over for a day and we had a great time, we hadn’t seen them for almost 2 years so we had a lot of catching up to do.  We enjoyed a nice lunch with them and a couple of ‘slow’ rides around the island as one of our golf carts is not super speedy. 🙂

Next up is a visit from my son Ryan and his wife Sarah and grandson Julian and his half brother Trysten for the Fourth of July, look for more fun on the lake in the next post.

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