Middle Georgia Mobilizes Resources To Aid Parkinson’s Sufferers

Our Middle Georgia Parkinson’s Community has made notable strides in the past year in treatment and education for sufferers. We’ve realized terrific help from the larger Community in making this happen. I recounted particulars in an April 10, front-page story in The Telegraph, our local, print-news provider.

Parkinson’s is the world’s fastest growing neurodegenerative condition. Incidence is projected to double by 2040, overtaking Alzheimer’s as the leading brain disorder.

Georgia is expected to be especially hard hit due to our rural predominance and heavy use of insecticides and pesticides. Our growing population of military retirees bring with them service exposure to petrochemical compounds (like Agent Orange) linked to PD.

The Parkinson’s Foundation estimates, quite conservatively, that Georgia has 20,600 cases of PD, 500 in Middle Georgia and 200-300 in counties touching Macon-Bibb.

The past year has seen Middle Georgia add a ground-breaking PD exercise and support program (PD Fit) at Middle Georgia State University. It was jump started with a $40,000 grant from the Peyton Anderson Foundation.

My colleagues in PD care know of no other U.S. program that combines the resources of a local state university, a local foundation and an energized and activist  PD  Community. PD Fit has its own Facebook page: PDFit Macon, Ga | Facebook

My Me Over PD Foundation also launched its sharable website to guide newly diagnosed Parkinson’s sufferers. The foundation’s Parkinson’s Pro-Activities free e-newsletter has topped 455 subscribers across North America. My wife and partner Struby Thelen drives this growing and valued news and information source.

Dean Jean Sumner and the Mercer University School of Medicine continued their strong support of Parkinson’s education.Dr. Sumner worked with the Anderson and MOPD foundations in 2019 to distribute 2,000 copies of the acclaimed book “Counterpunch: Duking It Out With Parkinson’s” to 375+ frontline medical offices throughout Georgia.

Mercer is now aiding the distribution of Middle Georgia PD Resource cards to area doctor’s offices. Dr. Sumner is seeking partners to bring subspecialty telemedicine services to rural, primary-care offices.