April 2010 E-Newsletter - PD Awareness Month

      Every April, members of the Parkinson’s community across our country honor April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  We do this because spring is a time of great hope, and it is also the month in which James Parkinson was born.  This year, for the first time ever, the United States Senate made Parkinson’s Awareness Month a national reality.

With S. Res. 474, the Senate designated April as a time to raise awareness of this disease and continue the work towards a cure, and reminds us to annually to focus our efforts on educating people about this disease, increasing participation in clinical trials, continuing our advocacy for research dollars, and getting more people involved with issues of importance to our community.  This national recognition gives us a great springboard to continue our advocacy and education efforts across the country.

After the Senate designated April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month, PAN sent out a packet of materials to our advocates to assist in marking Parkinson’s Awareness Month in city, county, and state governments throughout the country.  Since that time, advocates have hit the ground running, securing proclamations from various governments, from Maryland to Michigan and many more.  It is heartening to see the momentum generated by the Senate designation carry to more local governments, all recognizing the work of advocates everywhere and reaffirming the search we are on for a cure.

There are few better ways of raising awareness than government designations and proclamations.  Through these efforts, we bring our community’s issues to the forefront of what our governmental leaders work on.  We secure their support for our cause, and in doing so, educate and inspire members of our own communities.  These proclamations serve as a conversation starter, a mark of inspiration for members of our community and a sign to everyone else that the issues affecting the Parkinson’s community affect everyone.  Working with our friends, family members, caregivers, and neighbors, we make these issues known and increase the focus of our fellow citizens to the search for a cure.

If you have not done so already, I encourage all of you to work in your local communities to secure a proclamation designating April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.  Talk to a friend about why these issues are important to you.  If we work together, educating our friends and neighbors, we will increase the power of our voice, and the Parkinson’s community will continue its excellent work towards better treatments and a cure for this disease.

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