What is optimism? Well by definition it is: a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
April is Parkinson's Awareness Month. As the month comes to end I found the opportunity to share my story in hopes to help others and raise awareness.
As many of you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease three years ago when I was just 29 years old. At the time of my diagnosis I had just started my career in computer programming. I had been married to my beautiful wife for four years. Our oldest son was around 4 and our youngest was on his way to join our lives.
When I received my diagnosis, Optimism was the farthest thing from a thought on my mind. I thought to myself how am I going to work? How am I going to raise a family? How am I going to live? How fast will the disease progress?
Well over the years I have answered all of those questions. Yes, I have been through days of uncontrollable shaking. Days of having to fight to just to get ready for the day. I have crawled down stairs, I have sat on my hands, I have given presentations shaking like a leaf, I have fought terrible side effects, I have fought depression, I have fought through trivial things like changing a diaper, and the list goes on.
I have found optimism through my family. When I have those bad days I see my boys smile and laugh and know that fighting for everything I have in my life is worth it. I look at my wife, my strongest supporter, and know that I can push through anything that God gives me.
I can work, I can raise a family, and I don't care how my disease progresses. I have a great neurologist, Dr. Hussam Alkhersam and I am fortunate enough to be under the care of Joseph Jankovic the "Father of Parkinson's." These great doctors and the medicines that have been researched and developed are a big factor as to why I can have optimism for life.
I look forward to living everyday and saying I can. I refuse to say I can't! I can help coach my son's baseball team. I can support and love my wife. I can work! I can be optimistic!
The ADPAs mission is to "ease the burden (of PD) and find the cure." And in addition to funding innovative research toward those ends, the APDA is the only national Parkinson's organization with a National Young Onset Center as well as regional chapters, both of which provide information about and referrals to many services for people with Parkinson’s and their friends and family, as well as direct consultations on any number of PD related issues.
Your donation – in any amount – will help the APDA continue to seek the cure and ease the burden of Parkinson's disease for me as my condition progresses, and for everyone living with PD.
Please help me and others stay optimistic about the future and donate to the cause. If you can not donate please do the research and learn about the disease.