I spent an incredible afternoon last Monday with the Parkinson’s branch in Waterford it was one of those amazing life experiences that blow you away.
I travelled down at the invitation of Teresa to do a session with the group around my story since I was diagnosed ,Mary and Teresa had lovely food ready and then were ready to go .They all had something to say and questions to ask I felt it was a great sharing of the challenges we have to face every day and how we best manage them .We did a meditation at the end and I was very touched by Maura who had some dyskinisia when we started, but she shared with us that she stopped as soon as the meditation began.
Next in the line up arrived Libby the dance teacher she clearly dances from her soul and the group love it .So class began and I joined in I was looking forward to this and was not disappointed .Through the medium of dance the Parkinson’s symptoms were forgotten as we swayed to the music with great tempo!!!!all calmed I could see that we were all getting exercise in such a creative way everyone participated either standing up or sitting down ,which is fantastic as it is suitable for wheelchair users.Libby is clearly passionate in her work and say she has seen great progress in the group
Finally we had Mary who arrived with her accordion and the singing began, again I was struck by the sheer magic of this class ,disability meant nothing and the courage of these people to undertake the singing was infectious, this is how voice challenges should be managed .Teresa told me they had been inspired to introduce this type of complimentary session after experiencing a similar kind at the Parkinson’s World Congress last Sept in Glasgow and Mary had found these great teachers to take the sessions.
I cannot begin to tell you how moving it was to listen to Maura and Teresa singing, Maura sang Show a Little Kindness,and Teresa sang Summertime .in between all the singins we were doing vocal exercises.
It was my absolute privilege to share the afternoon with these wonderfully courageous people .Peggy with her infectious smile ,Betty who has all the traits of a lady ,Paddy courageous and gentle ,May who is there with Paddy quiet and caring,Mary who has to start Irish dancing again ,Pauline who will join me on a marathon one of these days ,Margaret who is gentle and determined,Ollie who is an amazing man carer and lover of hugs.Nikki who is always smiling and a great volunteer.
I would not have had this experience unless I had Parkinson’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!This was a room full of hope and determination
“Where there is hope anything is possible” Chrsitopher Reeves