Thirteen years ago, I had just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Like many people, when I was first diagnosed, I wanted to support research to find a cure and that was our focus back then.
But after the reality of this disease set in, I wanted to find ways to live a good life with Parkinson’s. And while my doctors helped with my medications and talked to me about living a healthy life, there wasn’t a lot of information or support to help me do that. That’s why we pivoted to focus on helping people with PD lead active and fulfilling lives.
During COVID, we increased our programs to help people exercise, eat well and improve their mental health. We also expanded our community to people around the world. We learned there is value in sharing our stories and the ways we navigate the unique challenges that come with PD. I got to be a big part of that community as the host of our podcast and a team member on our relay.
I have always chosen to be honest about my experience with PD and to use my voice and connections as a former NBA player to help others, but I never realized how important that honest sharing was until we saw the positive feedback from our podcast and relay video this past year. Because of what we have learned we have made building and growing our community a significant focus of our strategic plan.
When I review the past 15 years, I realized that I have moved from leading the foundation as a former NBA player to leading as a meaningful participant in this journey alongside friends who are navigating their own challenges. This community is helping me, and I see it helping others.
Thank you all for your support, especially at this month’s 12th annual Shake It Till We Make It Gala. Together, we raised $342,500 to help us grow and deepen our community, and offer even more tools to inspire and empower people impacted by Parkinson’s to lead active and fulfilling lives.
Brian’s Corner is brought to you by Amneal.