I arrived in Portland on Monday evening. Technically today (Wednesday) is the first official day of the Congress, however I was here for "Day 0", the pre congress. I will admit my head is already spinning with still two days to go, the information is overwhelming not because the content is extreme but rather there's sooooo many choices for what you want to learn about. In fact I have myself wishing I had a clone or a travel partner so they could attend opposite sessions than I so not to miss out on any valuable information.
I also had the great pleasure to meet some other inspirational Parkies. People who fight every day, encourage others with PD to do the same, challenge, motivate & inspire the entire community. And I must say aside from how amazing the content is of the various sessions (and there are a ton to choose from) meeting these people who share in the same battle although of various degree's and symptoms as we are all different, is an experience just as if not more rewarding than the congress overall. It's truly a remarkable experience one I will never forget and cannot urge you all to think about attending next time. Which by the way will be in Kyoto, Japan in 2019!
For instance this evening while attending an incredible film night that showcased short films from all over the globe and how people are facing PD head on, I had the pleasure to see the entire story of and meet Andy McDowell. Andy created a video submission for the last congress called "Smaller" which was one of the first things I showed my oldest daughter Samantha after being officially diagnosed. I thanked him for that and for his courage to speak up and spread awareness that some of us affected with PD have small children and are not 'old'. And although not better or worse or in any way meant to compare with someone who is older and their challenges, ours are simply unique when we have little people to care for ontop of it all. You can view his poem here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nI17vFWYaQ And his film "Switched On" can be found: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ3fDzCTXjk
Tim Hague Sr. was the Emcee for film night and you may recognize his name as the fellow from Manitoba, living with Parkinson's and the winner of season 1 of the Amazing Race Canada! He's also a fellow WPC Blogger and it was an honor to meet him in person this evening. I hope to get a chance to speak with him again before we both head back to Canada. You can check out his blog & some video links here: www.timsr.ca/watch-tim-speak/
For more photo's and information from the Congress visit the A Broken Body's Journey Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/brokenbodysjourney