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Dyanmic Duo Develop Group for Recently Diagnosed

Posted Jan 06 2010 8:17am

It is May of 1996, two days after I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 46. My husband, Tom and I arrive early at a young-onset PD support group. People who we assumed were our age arrive -- limping, some struggling to be ambulatory with walkers, others in wheelchairs who had long given up dreams of walking, and one person even arriving on a stretcher.

I don't remember one word spoken at that meeting. However, the feeling that has remained permanently etched for nearly 14 years. -- horror. We freaked out. We had nightmares for three nights. If this is what young-onset PD looked like, how could normal or late-onset possibly look worse? We wanted no part of any onset PD.

That was the one and only support group meeting that we attended for 10 years. Even though I was a young-onset person with PD, what we desperately needed at that time was a support group for the recently diagnosed.

Nearly 14 years later, a dynamic duo from Denver emerges. Diane Cook and Betsy Vierck are facilitating a group for the recently diagnosed. Both are newly diagnosed with PD.  Diane is a management consultant and Betsy is a medical writer.

We wish them well in their new endeavor  I only wish there was a Diane/Betsy team around when I was diagnosed.

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