Takeaways from the 2023 World Parkinson Congress
Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Barcelona to attend the World Parkinson Congress. Getting there took a lot out of me – after a 15-hour flight across nine time zones, my luggage didn’t arrive. As you can imagine, it’s not easy for someone who is 6’9” to get new clothes. I was also really tired and had a hard time with jet lag. But after a couple of funky days wearing the same clothes and catching up on sleep, I finally had a chance to go to the WPC. I had a great time meeting other people with Parkinson’s and their care partners. One of the big highlights for me was getting a chance to see comedian and fellow person with Parkinson’s Paul Mayhew-Archer. He was hilarious! I believe that laughter is a form of medicine, so it was great seeing comedy at the WPC.
I also learned about ping pong by Nenad Bach, got a surfer hat from Fuerte es la Vida Parkinson and met the group from Columbia University that created We Keep Moving. I had breakfast with Hannington Kabugo who talked to me about his efforts to help people with Parkinson’s in Uganda. And we had a couple of after WPC sessions in the hotel lobby where I got to hang with people in our community.
Being around other people with Parkinson’s is important to me and I really enjoy the camaraderie. This is the first WPC that I’ve attended since I gave the keynote in 2016 and I’m already looking forward to the next one.