Saturday, February 16, 2013

Changing the World One Person with Parkinson’s at a Time

If Agustin could travel outside of his native Chile just once, it would be to Montréal, Canada.  Due to his Parkinson’s disease, the 5500 miles (8800 km) and 18+ hours in airplanes and airports would make for a difficult journey.  But he knows that nothing has more potential to change his life, and consequently the lives of those he impacts in his own country, than to be in Québec during the first week of October, 2013.  No, it would not be to see the beautiful fall colors.  Agustin wants to participate in the third World Parkinson Congress.  He wants to learn more about how to live with this disease that challenges his every move, and pass that knowledge on to other Chileans who struggle with PD.  What he doesn’t realize is that the true impact of him attending WPC 2013 would be to inspire and encourage many of the more than 3000 attendees.  His enthusiasm and zest for living has the potential to spark even greater commitment within the global community of neurologists, researchers, healthcare professionals and people with Parkinson’s. 
Agustin on1 far right

I met Agustin when visiting Santiago, Chile, last year during my “Shake up My World” round the world trip (see my blog post).  He is representative of other people with Parkinson’s who have demonstrated leadership in their own communities.  But, despite his proven abilities, one week at the Congress would connect him with resources and dozens of other leaders in the Parkinson’s global community.  Although it only happens once every three years, the World Parkinson Congress is a “game changer”.  My own experience in attending WPC 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland, is evidence of that.

As challenging as the traveling would be for Agustin, and as frustrating as it may be for him to communicate in English, rather than Spanish, he would be up to the challenge.  But there is one hurdle that he needs our help to get over.  It is the same one confronting Roland from South Africa, Maria from India, and literally hundreds of international leaders in the worldwide Parkinson’s community.  They cannot afford to attend WPC 2013. 
That is where we all can help.  A number of us who have been privileged to serve as designated Ambassadors for the World Parkinson Congress have decided to put our money (and our efforts) behind the creation of a grassroots initiative.  This is intended to be an opportunity to provide travel grants to those worthy candidates from around the world who would like to attend but simply do not have the money to do so. 

Please consider an online contribution, whether it be $10 or $1000, by clicking on this link?  We are confident that financially enabling proven leaders to attend WPC 2013 will literally have a multiplication effect within the community battling the disabling effects of Parkinson’s disease.  While we can only fund a few, we believe those few can have a significant impact on the 7,000,000+ people struggling with Parkinson’s worldwide.  Will you help us change the world one deserving person at a time?

I alone cannot change the world, 
but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. 
 ~ Mother Teresa


  1. Bob you continue to inspire me to keep reaching out to my local PD community. There are so many PWP who have much to offer but barriers are in their way. Too much isolation and lack of ability to network or reach out to get the help they need. I admire your initiation on this fundraising blog. I will pass it on, when people know exactly where the money will go they are more likely to donate.Thank you for this, to you and the other ambassadors.

  2. Jill;

    Thanks so much for your note. You know how difficult it is to explain to people how important it is to bring people with Parkinson's together. This disease so easily isolates us from one another, leaving discouragement, apathy and even depression in its wake. See you in Montréal.

  3. Bob,
    How much would it be for me to go to this???

  4. Jaynie;

    The easiest way to find out is to contact the World Parkinson Congress 2013 via the website, as I have no particular details. If you are having any difficulty, please contact me at my email address: