Part of my task on this Journey, besides keeping Jim and Steve moving, will be to conduct interviews with people living with Parkinson’s.
To this end, when we checked into our last RV Park before Victoria, the lady at the desk mentioned that there was a gentleman with Parkinson’s living at the park. Not one to pass up an opportunity, I asked for an introduction.
A half hour later, and I was conducting my first interview with Mark and his wife Coreen. Mark had been living with Parkinson’s for quite a while. For his own reasons he did not begin taking levodopa (a practice that can be all too common with the newly diagnosed). Mark began to deteriorate quickly to the point of requiring a walker and a wheel chair. Feeling like it was a last resort, Mark began taking Parkinson’s medication. Soon Mark felt better, regained energy and abilities. Just hearing how Mark and Coreen dealt with those struggles was interesting enough, but there is more.
Mark and Coreen have spent many years in Romania (Mark holds dual citizenship). They raise funds and travel to Romania to assist Romanian orphans. They adopted and raised some as their own. With the onset of Covid and Mark’s decline the couple had to step back from their compassionate work.
I was very pleased and inspired to hear that Mark and Coreen are planning an 8 week trip back to Romania. They realize that they will not be able to do as much as they did in their prior visits, due to Mark’s Parkinson’s and energy levels. This trip will be different as they are intending to help with the influx of refugees entering Romania from the Ukraine.
These are the stories I want to help bring to life. Parkinson’s is a terrible nasty disease. It can be managed with medication, exercise and support. The compassion and work being done by Mark and Coreen is so amazing.
If you wish to learn more or assist in their work, please visit www.hftn.ro.