There’s no other way to describe it … I crashed at the Montreal airport. We had left the 3rd World Parkinson Congress (WPC) in plenty of time, but I think everyone leaving the Congress for home that day was trying to catch their plane simultaneously.
In early October, I was in Montreal attending WPC 2013. After a long flight from California, I headed straight to the conference center. The first thing I noticed as I entered the conference center was the presence of people with Parkinson’s (PwPs) everywhere. Several PwPs were accompanied by their caregivers, some traveled with friends and others looking for friends who were also attending WPC. It seemed like PwP from all over the world congregated in Montreal.
As I leave Montreal’s WPC 2013, I think back on how I felt leaving Glasgow’s WPC 2010, and the difference is striking. In Glasgow, I was an attendee two years into my Parkinson’s diagnosis, eagerly absorbing as much as I could by attending every session. By Montreal, I was several years into serving as a PDF Research Advocate, as part of the organization’s Parkinson’s Advocates in Research (PAIR) program.
On the final day of the 3rd World Parkinson Congress, there were many more scientific and educational sessions. Roving reporter and PDF Research Advocate Ronnie Wanetick of Walnut Creek, CA, provided summaries of a few sessions she attended.
Most scientific meetings include posters by scientists, which summarize their most recent experiments. The 3rd World Parkinson Congress is unique in that it features posters by advocates with Parkinson’s alongside those by scientists. PDF is proud to report that our team had 13 posters at the WPC! This included posters from seven PDF Research Advocates (one doubled up), three PDF staff members, and two PDF-funded researchers. Yesterday we were able to catch up with a few of them. Here’s a summary:
Some might say, “No way!” but I am attending this week’s 3rd World Parkinson Congress in Montreal, Canada. Many will ask, “Why?” And I say because giving a donation for research is not enough, because being an advocate is not enough, because sharing my story is not enough, because participating in a clinical trial is not enough, because even attending the World PD Congress is not enough, but it shows you that I am serious about finding a cure NOW!