A lawyer, a film executive, a reality TV show winner and a stuffed raccoon named Parky. Last night’s opening ceremony of the 3rd World Parkinson Congress was not only varied, but it was also moving, inspiring and energizing.
Dubbed “Day 0,” yesterday’s opening ceremony brought together more than 3,500 delegates for the official opening of the congress. The city of Montreal provided a warm welcome, while members of the Parkinson’s community provided moving accounts of why the WPC is so important.
Here are a few highlights:
We met the winners of the WPC video competition, including Andy McDowell who put together a film called, Smaller: A Poem About Parkinson’s.
It’s a must watch and you can view it here.
Daniel Bissonette Deputy Chairman of the Board, Montréal Film & Television Commission was up next.
He spoke about the role of the care partner in Parkinson’s, telling a touching story of his journey with his wife who lives with PD.
His quotables included “On our first date, my wife revealed that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s,” and “Everyday is a gift” bringing the room to tears.
PDF Scientific Director Dr. Stanley Fahn, reviewed the history of the WPC, a story that began in 2004.
He also highlighted PDF’s founding role in the WPC, which has grown to include 166 partners from 44 countries!
Bob Kuhn, a WPC Ambassador who lives with Parkinson’s disease, provided a touching account of how we must work together to find the cure.
He said, “We are not alone, we must collaborate.”
Bob also spoke about the sales of Parky the stuffed raccoon. Parky is on sale for $20 and all proceeds will support travel grants to help even more people attend the next World Parkinson Congress in 2016.
We were all surprised by a secret guest Tim Hague! Mr. Hague, along with his son, won the first season of Amazing Race Canada, while living with Parkinson’s.
He spoke to the role of perseverance while living with Parkinson’s.
There was a big reveal. It’s official that the next WPC 2016 will take place in Portland, Oregon. Stay tuned.
We’re off to take in the hundreds of scientific sessions, posters, exhibits and more. Stay tuned.