WPC Roving Reporters: Day One Insights

Each day during our coverage of the 2nd World Parkinson Congress (WPC)…we ask our WPC reporters, “What’s the most interesting thing you heard today?” Here are some answers from Wednesday, September 29:
From Kate Kelsall:
“The most interesting thing that I heard/saw today was a presentation by David Iverson entitled: Genetics and Me: Patient Perspective. Background of David Iverson:
David Iverson has been a producer, writer and correspondent for public broadcasting for 30 years. Most recently, he was the writer, correspondent and co-producer/director of the February 2009 PBS Frontline documentary My Father, My Brother and Me, which explored his family’s battle with Parkinson’s disease. Iverson is based in San Francisco, where he also hosts radio and television programs for public broadcasting, including the Friday edition of Forum on KQED public radio.
The three Iverson men all have one thing in common: PD.
He offered an interesting perspective on genetic testing that I hadn’t considered. While David Iverson may want to consider genetic testing for himself, his decision impacts his entire family. If he decides to proceed with the testing while his family does not want to know the results, he has to live with the burden of the tests results, good or bad, and not be able to share with his family.
Because of this, he has decided not to proceed.
Inspiring thoughts in presentation:
  • It’s all about balance and hope
  • Hope doesn’t get you out but it gets you through
  • PD steals your movement and robs you of your voice
  • Life is fragile
  • Each of us has our own version of PD with no operating instructions
  • The power of family and the promise of science
  • Time is our enemy and time is our ally
  • Enduring power of the human spirit
  • Run with what you’ve got and keeping running toward tomorrow.”
From Garry Ballenger:

“On the first day of the WPC, I spoke with a man at breakfast who turned out to be a neurologist from Italy. He works at a clinic in a small town in the northern part of the country. He had spotted me immediately as a person with Parkinson’s and related that he has been running an exercise program for his Parkinson’s patients, working with them three hours a day, every day, for four weeks. He has gotten good results. It fit my own view: vigorous exercise is the best thing you can do to stall the progression of PD. The more you do, the more you can do.”
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