“I’ve had Parkinson’s for 15 years, and I feel like I can help people more by being vocal than I can by being quiet.” -Aunti J
Stand up and shout! Episode four of our new podcast series, “The Patient Voice,” is here! For our next interviewee, meet Aunti J. Like many others who contributed to the quilt, Aunti J wasfeatured in her local newspaper. She was proud to be raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease (PD) on behalf of all those represented through their patches on the PatientsLikeMe PD community quilt.
Aunti J inherited her PD and has been living with it for most of her adult life. While she has plenty of first-hand experiences with PD, she has also been a caregiver for someone with the disease – her father. A wealth of knowledge with a big heart, Aunti J makes it a point to share as much as she can about what she has learned. When her father passed away, she came online looking for support and an opportunity to share with others. The PatientsLikeMe PD community is thrilled that she found us!
With more than 200 patients with inherited PD on PatientsLikeMe, Aunti J was able to find patients just like her. In fact, she tells a compelling story about how she also found others who were experiencing compulsive disorder as a side effect of their PD and describes feeling as if a weight had been lifted off of her shoulders.
It’s Parkinson’s Awareness Month. As we continue to spread the word about this condition, we wanted to tell you a little bit more about our PatientsLikeMe Parkinson’s community. Launched two years ago this month, the community has steadily grown to include more than 3,400 patients. Below are some interesting facts about the community, as well as an interview with one of our members (“PokieToo”) giving her real-world experience of living with condition.
WHAT’S IT LIKE LIVING WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE (PD)?
Meet PokieToo. A long-time member of our PD community, she tells us how she continues to “look for the sunshine” while “taking 30 pills a day.” “Out there for the next person,” PokieToo gives us a glimpse of the real-world experiences of living with Parkinson’s disease.
Some of the top topics “tagged” in our forum discussions to date include specific treatments (like Sinemet, Mirapex, Deep Brain Stimulation/DBS and Exercise), symptoms like tremors and depression, as well as other hot issues like SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), the annual Parkinson’s Unity Walk, stem cells, clinical trials and research.