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Raising awareness means telling our stories

I recently noticed that Holocaust Remembrance Day typically falls during Parkinson's Awareness Month. How is it that one of the most heinous crimes against humanity came to be memorialized against the backdrop of a progressive, incurable disease? Remembrance, like awareness events, challenge us to share the lessons we have learned over time, to ensure that future generations will not repeat the mistakes of the past, and will be spared the horrors these mistakes bring about.

Sharing our personal stories about the Holocaust and/or Parkinson's puts a face on these issues that is difficult to forget. I experienced this firsthand while listening to my friend, Margot, tell her story of survival to 200 students in grades 4 – 12. They sat in rapt silence for 30 minutes as she described how she and her sister were taken from their parents when she was only nine, hid in spaces smaller than Ann Frank did, survived the horrors of multiple children's camps in France, and eventually made it to the United States where she married, raised two children, and now has six grandchildren.

We must not allow our efforts to end with Parkinson's Awareness Month or Holocaust Remembrance Days. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we are in it for the long haul.



Sheryl speaking

I recently had the honor of sharing my challenges with and triumphs over Parkinson's disease with a great audience in New Orleans. Click here to listen to my story.

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blogger partner WPC 2016 in Portland