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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Friendship and Fun with Davis Phinney

I've attended several Parkinson's disease conferences and they all have similar formats. Most of the speakers are Doctors, Neuro-surgeons, and Researchers. They have technical slide presentations and use fancy terminology they learned in medical school. They speak way too fast for our dopamine deprived brains to absorb what they have said. Some attempt to add humor, but mostly they forget they are speaking to Patients, many of whom can't recall the name or dosage of their Parkie meds much less understand these type of slides:

The Davis Phinney Victory Summits are different. I've been lucky enough to attend two of them; in Phoenix, Arizona, during a rainy day, in January of 2013 and a few weeks ago, on Feb 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The theme of these seminars is Living Well with Parkinson's and most of the speakers give practical advice on how to do just that. Some still have complicated slides and some still speak too fast, but I've not seen anyone fall asleep.

They have planned Movement Breaks in between each speaker and attendees are encouraged to get up and move. The afternoon sessions are divided into smaller groups (Nutrition, Speech Therapy, Fall Prevention, DBS, etc.), so you have a choice of what you want to learn about and can get a more personal discussion going. 

My Las Vegas friend, Kip and I were invited to be part of the DBS session as a panel members and we were more than happy to answer questions regarding our DBS experience. After all, who knows more about DBS from the perspective of the Parkie than a Parkie with DBS? 
YumaBev and Kip discussing DBS 

Because I was a panelist, I was invited to a reception the evening prior and that's when I finally got to meet Jill. She and I met several years ago, in a Parkinson's Chat room in the wee hours, when we were awake and everyone else was asleep. Jill lives in British Columbia, Canada, and we have kept in touch via Facebook ever since. Jill was attending as an Ambassador for the 4th World Parkinson Congress.
YumaBev and Jill 

One of the best parts of the Victory Summit was getting to meet other Parkies. I got to re-connect with some I've met before and I got to meet, in person, some I've only interacted with online, either through this blog, Facebook, Twitter, email or the old Parkinson's Chat Room.

David & YumaBev
YumaBev & Heather 

Carl & YumaBev
Cidney & YumaBev
YumaBev & Michelle
YumaBev & Jill 

If there is a Victory Summit near you, please go. I can almost guarantee that you will leave inspired to Live Well with Parkinson's. And be sure to tell Davis Phinney I said hello.
Davis Phinney

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