Who we are - and why it matters

I’ve had a lot of great conversations with my dad over the years, particularly about PD, though they’re often led into by baseball, competition, kindness, music and greatness.

PD isn’t that fun to talk about plainly - though it’s necessary to help get clarity and understanding about what’s going on and how we can do our best with the challenges that exist.

One difficulty we’ve faced since the beginning of our journey, way back in 2004 is explaining who we are. In 2004, it might have been easier to look at us as gimmicky thing for PD. Father, son, road trip, baseball, dad’s got a tough condition but they’re making the best of it - what’s not to love? On that trip, dad said he hoped we could achieve something great - something that mattered. I assured him we would.

The first film was very well-received, but also had an undercurrent of “so what?” about it because the tension was somewhat lacking. Dad and I already got along well. Dad had PD, but he was early onset. The road ahead might be tough, but for now, things look pretty good. And, by the way, the cure is strongly thought to be coming in just 10 years.

As we know 10 years came and passed. We made the sequel, Second Base, for that reason - dad’s still here, just like hundreds of thousands of others. The disappointment about the lack of the cure is a real thing. It causes great anger, frustration and, for some, the desire to just give up.

What we did in Second Base was help to show why to keep going. We worked to find cures - some of them very out of the box. We got through a time period - a certain mentality - and came out with some tangible ways of dealing with the day to day difficulty in my dad’s life. Now, therein lies the strength and, potentially, some people’s problem. They say - “well, good for your dad, but what about everyone else?” My response is that there is enough humanity in what we have done to provide inspiration, direction and community involvement.

We have engaged groups. We have started Parkinson’s Place Las Vegas. I am actively working to highlight the best of what is going on with individuals and in communities across the country - even the world.

I realize I have to continue selling this story to continue to show its tangible value. I have no problem with that. I will continue to clarify and present tangible worth so everyone can see who we are and why it matters.

Parkinson's Place