Dancing and Singing at the Beach!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I know everyone is waiting for an update from the beach 🙂 As I mentioned in the last post we were planning a Kripalu mini-reunion with Joel and Melisa and Marcia and Erwin and we were able to get together for lunch and then a nice visit while sitting on the beach.  As Marcia said later, “..it felt like connecting with very close family.” We all caught up on what has happened since October 2013 which, of course, included what medications we were taking, comparing notes on doctor visits, etc.  Marcia and Erwin along with another couple from our Kripalu visit are staging the first Pocono FoxTrot 5K for Parkinson’s with the proceeds going to the Michael J Fox Foundation.  If you are going to be in the Pocono’s area June 20th, you can sign up for the 5K run/walk, the 1 mile community walk or the Kids 1 mile run/walk at this link.

A few days later, we attended our second Parkinson’s Cafe event, a backstage tour of the Sarasota Ballet.  This tour included a chance to watch the ballet master conduct training for about 30 cast members and students which was fascinating, they just flew across the room executing jumps and turns like they had wings!After the tour, we participated in a PD in Motion class, a dance/exercise class for PD patients which is conducted every week by the Neuro Challenge Foundation here in Sarasota. The program was started in NYC and has expanded nationwide.  As you can see, most of the exercises were done sitting down and involved moving legs, arms, and torso.  We really enjoyed it and we attended the next class and will catch a couple more before we leave the beach.

And this week we attended a choral singing class, also sponsored by the Neuro Challenge Foundation.  Called the Off Key Choir about 45-50 of us sang some Irish tunes since it was St Patrick’s day, and, by the end we did it in 4 part harmony! This was a great way to learn breathing and speech techniques to help with the soft voice of PwP.  It was great fun and we are happy Merrily and Robert Manthey told us about it and invited us to attend.

We met Merrily at the Parkinson’s Cafe event and she told us how a year ago, she was in a wheelchair but no longer needs it after participating in the exercise programs provided by the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Healthfit Gym.  In fact her story was featured in the February 2015 edition of Sarasota Magazine.  Merrily is an outstanding example of how exercise can help fight PD.  Mara and I are convinced that increasing my exercise time has reduced my symptoms and I’m looking at other exercise programs that might provide additional benefit, you can expect to hear more about that project in the next post.
We also had a nice visit with Tom and Marilyn, our friends from Colorado, the weather was great and we got in our long walks every morning and beach time every afternoon and took in a play at the Aslo Theater.  Good Times, Good Times!
Recently Sage Bionetworks announced an app called mPower, as part of the Apple iPhone Research Kit.  Currently only available for the iPhone, mPower will gather information daily from users which will feed into a database for analysis.  At the same time the Michael J Fox Foundation announced Fox Insight, an online clinical trial for both PwP’s and those without PD who will complete a series of surveys every 90 days regarding their health, symptoms, medications, etc. You can link it to your Fox Trial Finder profile during the sign up process and soon you will also be able to  link to the mPower app information.  It is easy to enroll and takes only about 20 – 30 minutes to complete the surveys plus you can print a  report of the results to take along on Doctor visits.
Until next time..oh wait I forgot to remind you to sign up for Fox Trial Finder and now Fox Insight!
 “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

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