Hi, I am Dawn.
I got my first paying graphic design job at 15 years old. I have enjoyed a lifelong career in the graphic arts/ design industry. I have always painted for enjoyment on the side.
I began having noticable dexterity issues in 2011. In November 2012 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. I began painting digitally, in order to have an "undo' for my shaking hands. I am thankful that technology allowed me to continue to be creative. However, I have not done a painting for a couple of years now, because my dexterity has deteriated to the point I am unable to work.
Last week I was put on unpaid sick leave which lasts for 30 days. At that time I will loose my job and be placed on PAN which will allow me to return to work IF my condition improves enough to do so.
August 1 I will sign the paperwork to participate in a clinical trial for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease. The proceedure will take place in addition to and at the same time I recieve a surgical implantation proceedure called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).
The researchers are not allowed to bill me or my insurance company for the medical procedures done strictly for research. Those costs will be paid for by the study. However, I will be responsible for the costs of all care and treatment I receive during this study that I would normally receive for my condition. For this it is CRITICAL that I maintain my current insurance policy where my maximum out of pocket expenses have nearly been met for the year.
Having lost all my income, paying for this insurance policy and my monthly medications is a huge challenge. I need to do so until the end of the plan year that ends December 31, 2017. I will be required to make that first montly payment in about 30 days.
Hopefully, with the DBS surgery and the clinical trial treatment, my symptoms will improve enough to return to work. First, I must be sure I can pay my portion of the expenses for it.
My ultimate goal is to not only return to work but to become an advocate for Parkinson's Disease research. I hope to share more about the steps I have taken to achieve this goal in later posts.
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