As my grandmother aged, I remember her anxious stance as she stood on the porch of her small house in San Jose, California waiting for us to arrive for a visit. Her wide circle of chums knew her as a loving friend, the “mother” of the local USO, Grand Matron at her lodge, and a tireless volunteer in her service organizations. Although she had much to feel proud of, she’d rub her hands and worry until her family arrived.
I’ve stepped into grandma’s worry shoes as I stay at home to resist Coronavirus. I gaze out of my apartment window at the Kaiser Permanente emergency room noting that the testing tents that have grown from one to two. Feeling paralyzed, I worry about my kids. One lives in the middle of the country. When will it be ok for me to travel to visit her again?
I’m inspired by the words of Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Obama health advisor who led the repair of healthcare.gov after its problematic rollout. In a National Public Radio (NPR) interview, he said what helps him is being an “action junkie.” If he’s not doing something, he begins to feel like he’s the victim. If there’s something he can do for somebody, even if it is just bringing soup to somebody, he’s all in because it provides a sense of purpose.
As if on queue while I was writing this blog, I received a request from The Michael J. Fox Foundation. They are working with Californians for Cures to continue funding important stem cell research in California. They believe in the potential that stem cell research might bring better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease. A coalition of more than 55 research and patient advocacy organizations is trying to secure a ballot initiative on the November 2020 election ballot in California. To qualify, the initiative petition needs 950,000 signatures. There currently are 915,000 signatures and they need the last 35,000 in the mail by April 11. As you can imagine, stay at home orders have made it a challenge to gather more signatures by this deadline. Can you help? Sign your signature here: https://caforcures.com/help-us-qualify/?em_cid=mca1b1R000008uLoN&et_cid=1542838&et_rid=224851492&et_lid=https%3a%2f%2fcaforcures.com%2fhelp-us-qualify&em_cid=
If you find you are worrying at home, think about your sense of purpose. You, and your Parkinson’s community will get through this together.