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.
I met PwPs from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Nepal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Brazil to name a few and of course, several from the US. It is inspiring to see so many PwPs, despite their limitations, traveling thousands of miles to participate in a conference.
I wondered what motivated all these people to attend WPC?
One word answer is HOPE.
- Hope that scientists discover new insights of PD that might translate into therapies
- Hope to collaborate with scientists and clinicians to advance the pace of drug development
- Hope to share their knowledge and wisdom of living with PD with others
Most of all, a strong desire and hope to have a life without PD again.
Girija Muralidhar, Ph.D., of San Diego, CA, is a PDF Research Advocate and immunologist by profession. Learn more about the work done by Dr. Muralidhar and her fellow Research Advocates by visiting www.pdf.org/pair.