Every person diagnosed with Parkinson's disease embarks on a unique journey. There is no standard path, and each patient has an individual story to tell about his or her experience with the disease.
The Parkinson's Story Exchange, founded by Johanna O'Day, MS, a graduate student at Stanford University, is a new venture designed to amplify the voices of people with Parkinson's and increase understanding between researchers and patients. O'Day records Parkinson's patients sharing their personal stories so researchers can learn about the real-world people their investigations impact. At the same time, Parkinson's researchers can contribute to the project by submitting drawings that highlight their work in the field. This allows patients to understand the critical role they play in speeding breakthroughs.
In a recent conversation with the Davis Phinney Foundation, O'Day explained her vision for the Parkinson's Story Exchange:
"I hope this project provides hope and community for people with Parkinson's and researchers and increases empathy between the two groups. I hope it inspires others to get out and learn as much as they can about people with Parkinson's and the disease itself so that we can continue to make progress in helping people with Parkinson's improve their quality of life."