April is Parkinson’s Awareness month focused on spreading the word, educating yourself and supporting the cure. Five years ago what I knew about Parkinson’s amounted to very little. I equated the disease with tremors and knew about Mohammed Ali, Michael J. Fox and Janet Reno. However, when I was diagnosed with PD in 2014, I learned there was far more to this disease than trembling. In fact, I do not even have tremors. In 2017, I created a website and blog, Parkinson’s My Way….Creativity in Motion to educate, to inspire and to give hope.
I also discovered a connection between Parkinson’s and creativity which helped explain my sudden interest in writing poetry. I have been blessed to winning awards, being published, studying under presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco and studying under Mississippi poet laureate Beth Ann Fennelly since my diagnosis.
April is celebrated by the Academy of American Poets as National Poetry Month, in celebration of writing, reading and enjoying poetry and those who make it. It was first created in 1996 to encourage people to read poems, support poets and help teachers introduce their students to the form.
To kick off this first week of Parkinson’s Awareness Month and National Poetry Month, I refer you to a guest blog I was invited to write for the National League of American Pen Women in 2017 on My Parkinson’s Muse. It later appeared in an anthology, The Creative Genius.
Question: What is happening in your community that supports Parkinson’s Disease Awareness or National Poetry Month?