As people with Parkinson's and their loved ones know, you can, and often must, be your own best advocates. No one understands the ins and outs of Parkinson's better than those who are touched by the disease. On Wednesday, March 21, join members of our community for Parkinson's Advocacy Day and tell your lawmakers what matters to you. By sharing your needs and priorities with elected officials on this day of action, you can play a critical role in shaping their decision-making.
While people across the country take part in Parkinson's Advocacy Day, 300 patients and care partners will be on Capitol Hill to conduct in-person congressional meetings as part of the 2018 Parkinson's Policy Forum. This annual event, sponsored this year by the Parkinson's Foundation and The Michael J. Fox Foundation, brings advocates and lawmakers together to discuss the importance of federal funding for Parkinson's research and policies that support comprehensive access to care. (This year's attendees are constituents of the select legislators who decide federal funding levels for medical research.)
By reaching out to your own elected officials on this day, you can amplify the messages conveyed in these Capitol Hill meetings. Legislators are eager to hear how their policy decisions impact residents of their district. An inbox full of emails from people with Parkinson's and their loved ones lets Congress know that our issues are important and should be taken into consideration.
The Forum begins with two days of policy training sessions, which you can easily take part in from home. Visit The Michael J. Fox Foundation Facebook page on Monday, March 19, and Tuesday, March 20, to watch these panels live and get pointers on how to talk to lawmakers. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Tune in at 8:30 a.m. ET on March 20 for special remarks by Senator Cory Booker.]
Then, be sure to check your email and visit our Facebook page on Wednesday, March 21, for instructions on how to contact your Congress members.
As an advocate, your voice is powerful. We hope you'll join us in speaking up for our community on Parkinson's Advocacy Day.