I'm convinced the volunteer work I did for PAR in the 80's and 90's saved my life. The time I spent as President of the Board gave me a sense of purpose I otherwise wouldn't have had. My partnership with Janet Humphreys on the Education Team gave me a chance to use my skills as a teacher to help nursing home and medical staffs learn to understand and better care for people with PD. It also fueled my love of public speaking.
I've made a conscious choice to stay involved in life. We all have disabilities. Some are just more visible than others. When people see me and others with PD handling our lives with dignity, optimism and compassion, it provides them a model for dealing with adversity and creating hope in their own lives.
Nick, I was looking at the site for another reason, and there you were. I would like to add that during the 1990's your addition to the Physical Therapy program at CU and Regis added so much to the course content. I have such fond memories of both you and Janet. The humor and humanity you brought with you gave those students such valuable insight.
At South Vallely Physical Therapy we continue to have a strong interest in working with this phenomenal population.
I agree with you, Nick, that PD is best handled by making a conscious choice to stay involved in life. Volunteering in ways that help others, whether it be PD related work or not, allows us to step out of our own problems and feel good about helping others. It's a win-win sitution!