At the time I wasn't entirely familiar with the disease. I didn’t know what that would mean for my uncle and our family in the long run. We know it’s the first time some of you are hearing about it but it took a lot for us to convince my uncle to allow us to make it public.
Like me, some of you may not be the most familiar with the disease. The Parkinson's foundation explains the disease as "a neurodegenerative disorder". Symptoms typically develop slowly over years and progression of symptoms differs from person to person. Symptoms include tremors and shaking throughout the body and hands, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. Uncle’s diagnosis is not as common at this young of age and it is unfortunately very aggressive.
The news can be and has been difficult to accept. Sometimes it even makes people give up, leaving the disease to take its course. However, with discipline and varying therapies, someone diagnosed with Parkinson's can fight against it.
My uncle had to retire, last year, from teaching at Chief Kitsap Academy and misses all his students but has been trying to stay more active with his lifestyle by staying busy in the yard, gardening, building a bird sanctuary, a pond, even picked up welding as a hobby and to help construct his new home. Of course, he also continues to create music as that is his joy.
Family and friends have been doing their best to help accommodate and make life easier for my uncle. We have even started constructing a tiny home out of shipping containers and it has been going great! A few of our friends have volunteered their time and skill to working on the tiny home and we hope to get everything safe and insulated and his music studio back up and fully functioning.
This is where we need your help. Unfortunately, funds are stretched and depleted. Every bit of money my uncle receives he puts right into his home which is great but low funds is slowing down progress. We would like to finish before Autumn and cold weather sets in and with a little extra help, we can work to make his little home better suited for his impending needs as his health issues accelerate.
Any little bit is greatly appreciated.
- Molly Gordon
- Sarah Rinehardt
- Farrell Riley
- Leighsa Balland
- Nani Baran
Organizer and beneficiary
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