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Friday, September 23, 2016

World Parkinson Congress - Day Two

The theme for Day Two was inspiration! Read on.

We got to breakfast at our hotel earlier today and sat with Jari and his room mate, Pertti, from Finland. Jari and I had been emailing each other during the summer. Jari also had DBS for his Parkinson's disease . His bumps are a bit more noticeable than mine. He also has a great sense of humor.
Jari from Finland and YumaBev
Jari (on left) Pertti (far right)

Jari travelled to the USA with a large group from Finland (Team Oiva) and they did some sightseeing prior to the Congress. They rented some vans and drove from San Francisco to Los Angeles and then on to Las Vegas before flying to Portland. We talked about Parkinson's, DBS and the crazy traffic in California.   
The Finland group along the Pacific Coast Hwy

We went to a special lunch time presentation called Living Well with Parkinson's. This featured four people living with Parkinson's; Linda Olson, Brian Grant, Tim Hague Sr and Andy McDowell.

Linda Olson went first. She was a petite woman who walked awkwardly to the podium and was helped onto the tall chair by her husband. She became a triple amputee in her 20's and got Parkinson's thirty years later. Her enthusiasm and can do spirit was contagious and she claimed to have a HAPPY gene in her DNA and wished she could give HAPPY transfusions to all of us. If you want to read more about her, follow this link to Bruce Ballard's blog story about Linda. He has pictures and the full story. 

Brian Grant, a former NBA basketball player was next. He's a big man, 6'9" and his first words were "How do I follow her?" which drew quite a laugh from the crowd. He played in the NBA for 12 years and began to notice his one leg felt awkward when he jumped. Then he had some hand tremors. Depression was a big problem for him and he'd love some of Linda's HAPPY blood. Brian believes exercise helps his Parkinson's and has a foundation in the Portland area.
Brian Grant & YumaBev

Tim Hague Sr was next. He started off by saying that he'd like a HAPPY blood donation, too. Tim and his son, Tim Jr competed in and won The Amazing Race Canada. 
Tim & YumaBev

Unfortunately, they couldn't get Andy's slide show to load, so the moderator took questions from the audience instead.  

After that inspiring event, we left and had lunch at Burgerville with folks from InventivHealth. 

Then we went back to the Convention Center and found the Radio Parkies quiet room. Christine, from Belgium, showed us their set up. Every show is pre-recorded, so they don't have to worry about speaking difficulties and they can "fix" the occasional stutter or awkward pause. Great idea! She set up a recorder and we started the interview. I happened to mention that years ago, I wrote some song parodies about Parkinson's. Christine turned off the recorder and asked if I ever heard of a song called Just Another Day of Parkinson's. I laughed and said, "Yes, it's one of mine!"   

You'd have thought she just met Elton John. She got so excited. Apparently, it's popular in Belgium's Radio Parkie, but they have been afraid to play it without permission. So, I promptly gave her permission to play any of my songs on air, but warned her I wouldn't be responsible if people called and complained about how badly I sing!

After we were done, we wandered around the exhibit hall, met some more Parkies and then we went back to our hotel room for a rest.
Pat, YumaBev, Cidney Donahoo
YumaBev & Donna Boyd
Joey & YumaBev
YumaBev & LaDona Molander

That evening, we went to a music program at the Eastlund Hotel. David Sangster, who I knew from Twitter, was there and I finally got to see the UK phenomenon Tom Isaacs perform. Several other people with Parkinson's performed and it was a wonderful evening. It was after 10pm before we made it back to our room.
Tom Isaacs 

I never made it  to a single educational seminar, but that's okay, because it was an exhilarating day!

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