This past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Seattle, WA to attend the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation’s Annual Wellness Conference. More than 200 attendees were at the event to hear esteemed speakers present on topics ranging from different available medications to managing stress and personal wellbeing. Dr. Jeffrey Shaw, a neuropsychologist at the evergreen Neurosciences Institute, gave a funny but sincere talk about mutual caregiving and Corrie Befort, a teacher and choreographer at Seattle’s Dance for Parkinson’s group, was there to lead a seated dance class.
Outside the main hall, exhibitors provided materials about programs and services available to PD patients and their loved ones. I was there representing the Michael J. Fox Foundation to let attendees know about Fox Trial Finder and the incredible value of participating in research. I was happy to hear that many attendees had already heard about the clinical trials matching tool and some had already signed up!
It’s always inspiring to interact with people in the PD community in a setting like NWPF’s Wellness Conference. People of all ages are there to learn as much as they can about how to live well with Parkinson’s disease and participate in the pursuit of a cure. When speaking with one attendee, I told him that Fox Trial Finder has about 17,000 registered volunteers. He replied, “Well, now you have 17,001.”