Stem cell research is the key to developing cures for degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and motor neuron disease from which I and many others suffer. The fact that the cells may come from embryos is not an objection, because the embryos are going to die anyway.Stephen Hawking
Parkinson’s Disease is often misunderstood by many, and for those who have it, it can be hard to get the resources you need to handle everyday life. This month is all about bringing awareness to this condition, allowing those who have it to seek help and for those who don’t to learn more about what it means to have it.
History of Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Parkinson’s Disease has been around since the times of the Egyptians, but many of the sources before the 12th century would describe symptoms of PD, but would not be able to explain any more than that. Such sources include Egyptian scriptures, the Bible, and the Roman Empire. It wasn’t until the 19th century when James Parkinson would publish an essay describing this condition that Parkinson’s Disease would exist as a term, even if it didn’t immediately get recognition. It wasn’t until 40 years later that the essay would get noticed. The 20th century involved the research of scientists from all over the world, but as doctors would prescribe treatments, a cure couldn’t be found.
One celebrity that is known to have Parkinson’s Disease is Michael J. Fox, a Canadian who reached fame through his charismatic personality in some of his most famous acting roles throughout the 80’s and 90’s. His diagnosis in 1991 inspired him to help, founding the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research to help others learn about the disease and find ways of managing and treating this condition. Parkinson’s Awareness Month is part of the core of foundations such as the MJF Foundation, and this month-long holiday encourages people to learn about the disease, donate to foundations to help with research and support those who do have it in any way they can.
How to celebrate Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Start conversations with your friends and family about Parkinson’s Disease. Start thinking about what PD means to you, and if you’re passionate about awareness, then let everyone know on social media using the hashtag #ParkinsonAwarenessMonth what this month means to you. Support your favorite foundations by donating and look up the most current research about PD to see if you can help others get the resources they need to handle PD.