Org helps Parkinson patients

By Gil Thelen
Me-Over-PD Foundation

The Me-Over-PD Foundation (MOPD) seeks Middle Georgia Parkinson’s Disease sufferers willing to wage total war against their condition.

Four dozen area Parkies worked together in 2018 to learn about, and take effective action against, the neurological malady. The group is ongoing, meeting quarterly. I am president of MOPD, a Middle Georgia and West Florida organization.

The Middle Georgia MOPD tribe ’s advocacy brought the highly effective Parkinson’s exercise program, Rocky Steady Boxing, to Macon in November.

Female doctor holding a tablet with the text: Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system. Symptoms included noticeable tremor, muscular stiffness, and imprecise movements. It is thought to be caused by a deficiency of dopamine.

MOPD plans a fourth study/action class in 2019. My wife, Struby, and I lead the 9-hour, 6-session program while running a nonprofit Parkinson’s patient advocacy organization operating in two states. The program runs from January through March, and its goal is to help Parkies live their best lives.

Parkinson’s is not a death sentence. It is possible to live well, or at least better, with this mysterious malady.

Consider these ringing words from Dr. Peter Schmidt, chief research and clinical officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation: “When people describe Parkinson’s disease, they often define it as a disease that is incurable and without treatment to slow its progression. You can change how Parkinson’s affects you, but it takes hard work and dedication.”

The key is taking charge of the disease by aggressively seeking the most expert care available and engaging your brain through rigorous exercise and mental conditioning.

Struby and I seek new Middle Georgia Parkinson’s people willing to accept Dr. Schmidt’s challenge to engage their PD fully and relentlessly fight back against the beast.

PD is an ultimately unknowable neuromuscular condition. Each case is unique to the person. Even the numbers are approximations: One million cases in the U.S. Seven million worldwide. Fifty thousand new cases a year in the U.S. Second most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s.

I am experienced in PD training. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014 and was a leader of the PD Self national training program.

My wife and I moved to Macon last November after 20 years in Tampa. I was a newspaper editor and publisher (the late Tampa Tribune).

We will start the Middle Georgia study group in January in Macon. If you are interested in more information, please write to me at gthelen1@icloud.com or call me at 813-787-3886.

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