A strong support system can be especially important for young people and families whose lives are impacted by early onset Parkinson’s Disease. Our Person-to-Person programs can help.
Many of us find it difficult to devote the kind of time and energy it often takes to meet new people, especially when you are hoping to find someone who has similar life experiences. Let the APDA National Young Onset Center help you expand your Parkinson’s support network by connecting you with another person who has a profile similar to yours. And there are many other ways we can help.
A Program for Young People with Early Onset Parkinson's Disease
I’ve been living with Parkinson’s disease for two years. My closest PD support group is two hours away, yet I wanted to talk to people who could relate to what I am going through.
I recently enrolled in the APDA Young Onset Person-to-Person Program and was sent names of people to contact. Karen, Kristine, Ann, Lynn and I have since developed a friendship. We keep in contact via email and on the phone. Karen convinced me to start physical therapy, which I did and I'm starting to feel better. I convinced Karen to update her journal on her progress with PD which she might eventually publish. Kristine, who is a physical therapist herself, gave me the name of a technique that helps Parkinson's patients called "Big and Loud." I was happy to find out that my physical therapist knows this technique and I started it at my last visit. Ann informed me that communication is extremely important for people with PD. Talking about your medication, balance and tremors can help others. Lynn, who was also newly diagnosed, was taking one medication that I started taking a year ago. We've been comparing notes on the side effects and changes we see in ourselves.
Speaking to my new friends has taught me how to help myself and express feelings I was not able to speak about before. They have given me strength and hope. We have created a bond between us and I know I’m not alone in this struggle. Together we stand strong to fight this disease. I am grateful to the APDA Young Onset Person-to-Person Program for providing this vital service. Thank you.
I've met a wonderful friend through the Person-to-Person program and we've really helped each other even though we've never met and live 1,000 miles apart. We have become very close friends in that time online and phone calls, and I am flying her to NJ in April for the Unity Walk in NYC. We will meet for the first time! We can't wait! We call each other our soul sister. The support we have had from each other is priceless. Thank you for making this friendship possible!
It is such a good feeling to talk to someone who understands. My children support me and friends and siblings are there to listen ... but they don't really understand. No one does unless they have PD themselves.
A Program for Parkinson's Caregivers
Newly expanded to include partners, Caregiver-to-Caregiver allows husbands, wives, partners or companions of people with young onset PD to develop the same kind of unique, personal support their partners have enjoyed through Person-to-Person.