I am now in my 9th year of knowing that I have Parkinson’s Disease (PD).I have been blessed to have had a relatively slow course in disease progression.And further blessed to have made a wide circle of friends who are on a similar health journey.
These are friends I likely would not have met had we not connected through support groups and classes made available to us by Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon (PRO) – a non-profit that serves all of Oregon and SW Washington.
There is no national registry of Neurologic diseases so we can only go by estimates that there could be between 1000-2000 people with Parkinson’s Disease in the three county area of Central Oregon.I would like to say I have met them all, but the fact is that there is still much work to be done to reach those who could be helped immeasurably by knowing more about their disease.
Last summer, Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon opened an office in Bend and hired Carol Pfeil as Program Coordinator.At that time we had 3 support groups for those with PD and their family caregivers; today there are 4 (Bend, Redmond, Madras and Sisters); and 3 caregiver groups (2 in Bend and 1 in Redmond).These are volunteer peer-led support groups: the facilitator can be the person with PD, a family member or friend.
Last year…at the “Walk We Didn’t Have due to wildfire smoke concerns,” the Central Oregon teams raised close to $24,000 – surpassing our $20,000 goal.We hope to hold the Sole Support Walk this year AND raise $35,000.Please consider helping us support this organization that works hard every day to bring patients and family members together.We learn together, play together, and lean on one another when things get tough.