Monday, March 8, 2010

HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE UNITY WALK?

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10,000 to 20,000 people, united for a cause. all wanting to cure this disease I have. You see I have Parkinson's and I have hereditary Parkinson's. I am soon to be 63 and have five living grandchildren and three children. This is my third year at the walk The first year I had no idea what a life changing event it would be for me..As my mind travels back in time I can still remember the thrill of starting  the walk from the band shell and at that time my team numbered four.  We rounded the first curve and there were people ahead of us and people behind. I stopped with my friend and began to pray and hold each other and when we stopped everyone behind us stopped for a moment of prayer. From that moment on I have been a soldier in this fight. Parkinson's does not command all my attention but a search for the cure does  and that is a totally different endeavor. Whether in pain or not I go on and the pain disappears. This disease is the strangest thing I have ever encountered.  It is not all about the physical but much about the mental.  For me it is lost in goals and in those goals the disease always comes in second. My goals change from day to day and vary in degrees of importance to me and the World..Right at this very moment my goal is to make Patientslikeme proud of our team at the 16th Annual Parkinson's Unity Walk and let the World know what encouragement and direction that site has given me in the past four years. There is no price to be put on the friendships I have made through this site. I would have never believed this goat farmer from Illinois could love New York City as much as I do. Who would have believed that four people could have collected $600.00 dollars the first year and then watched that team grow to thirty-seven last year and collect close to $20,000.00. I'd say our prayer on that first corner worked and has continued to  word everyday since. In the past year I have had a seizure and could hardly walk but my goal was "The Walk" and would you believe it.  I'm walking and really feeling great. Our team is small but growing as is our money contributed.  We are up to $2100.00 and we have backing and we will grow.  Last year we had made the "2009 Parkinson Unity Quilt" on the site and carried it proudly to the walk to show the world how a parkinson community can come together as one.  We called it Our Lady and she was displayed for all to see at the Parkinson's Disease Foundation Pavilion.  In the past year she has traveled with members of the site as they passed the story on from town to town. Now it is time for this year. We have so few weeks left to get your attention. April 24th in Central Park, New York City, New York we will once again band together "One on One" for a cause. You can help us achieve my goal, or at least one of them. You can help this years walk be a success. You can contribute to me (Charlene Pryor), or my team (Team Patientslikeme) or you can become a corporate sponsor.  You can also take advantage of your employees matching gift plan and double your donation through your employer's human resources department. The smallest of gifts will be appreciated with all my heart. Anything you do may save my family from watching one more member suffer from this devastating disease... I have always given this disease a name.."Joe Parker" and through that I could square off and tell him he will not defeat me. So many times, in the last four years, I have doubted my ability to come back from the next pitfall but in the back of my head, right where my brain cells are waning, something says, "Hold on just a little longer, there's one more person who needs to hear your story." If that one person makes a difference every altered step, every tear shed in pain was worth it. If you can't contribute, come to the walk in support.  If you can't contribute read about my disease.  If you can contribute do it with a smile and know you have saved a grandmother from realizing her eighteen month old grandson could walk better than her.  He could crawl when she could not and when she could not open a container, he watched and took it from her hands and opened it and gave it back with a smile and hug. Give if you can, if not think about me.......love Pokie

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