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Brian’s Update, May 2024

Brian's Update, May 2024. Brian to speak at the Brain and Environment Symposium, 05/20/24.
Brain and Environment

Next week I’m traveling to Washington, D.C. to take part in the Brain and Environment Symposium. I’m part of a panel on water talking about my time at Camp LeJeune as a kid. You’ve probably heard about Camp LeJeune from the PD community or commercials on TV talking about the water on the base that was contaminated with TCE. I’d seen the commercials, too, but it wasn’t until Dr. Ray Dorsey read my autobiography and reached out to me that I learned that my time at Camp LeJeune may have contributed to my Parkinson’s diagnosis.

At first, I had a hard time understanding how something that had happened decades ago when I was just a kid could’ve led to my diagnosis. But as I started learning more from Ray, it was actually a relief to start finding some answers. Since I was diagnosed 16 years ago, I’ve struggled to understand how I got this disease, especially at such a young age, and often times blaming myself. And though I understand that my exposure to TCE at Camp LeJeune is likely only one of the contributing factors to my diagnosis, it’s been helpful to me to have any answers to how I got Parkinson’s and to have some reassurance that maybe this won’t happen to my kids.

When Ray asked if I would participate in the symposium, I was nervous and wanted to say no. The truth is I don’t know a lot about science and a symposium about the brain and the environment with researchers and policymakers is out of my comfort zone. But Ray reassured me that my role is to tell my story so that people understand why it’s important to stop using chemicals like TCE. He said that change only happens when people like me stand up and tell our stories. If I can play any role in helping future generations avoid getting diseases like Parkinson’s, I will. I hope you’ll join me.

To learn more about the Brain and Environment Symposium happening on Monday, May 20, 2024, visit brainandenvironment.org.

The Brian Grant Foundation is a proud partner of advocacy efforts that are working to ban or reduce environmental toxins linked to Parkinson’s disease. Here are some actions you can take today to join us in these efforts:

  1. Read “Ending Parkinson’s Disease” and sign the pact at endingpd.org/resources.
  2. Join PD Avengers, a global, patient-led advocacy organization working to end Parkinson’s at pdavengers.com.
  3. Take action on policies that affect the Parkinson’s community by visiting the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council (led by The Michael J. Fox Foundation) at michaeljfox.org/contact-your-policymakers.

Brought to you by AbbVie, Amneal, CND Life Sciences, Providence Brain and Spine Institute, and StrivePD.

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