Groundbreaking New Blog About Parkinson’s Targets the Recently Diagnosed

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A new blog -- http://www.recentlydiagnosedwithpd.org will cover those topics that are uniquely important to people who are in the early stage of Parkinson’s. It will also keep track of breaking news in Parkinson’s research and provide interviews with experts in PD and other important areas such as nutrition and exercise.

http://www.recentlydiagnosedwithpd.org , a blog for people recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), was launched today by two PD patients, Betsy Vierck and Diane Cook. Both women were diagnosed with the progressive and often-debilitating disease within the last two years. The blog is sponsored by Project Spark, a Washington, DC and Denver-based foundation focused on Parkinson’s disease.

Soon after receiving the news that they have PD, Vierck and Cook, both avid researchers, started to dig into the literature to learn about their disease. The maze of information on the Internet was often confusing and conflicting. They were not sure whom to turn to for emotional support.

“Doctors only have a limited time to tell you what you have and write your prescription. Even the most competent and compassionate physician can’t tell you everything you need to know or give you substantive emotional support as you try to grasp the fact that you have this incapacitating disease,” says Vierck.

recentlydiagnosedwithpd.org is the second program Vierck and Cook have developed to help fill this gap in information and support and to meet the needs of people in the early stage of Parkinson’s. Their first project is a monthly Denver-based support group established in February 2010 for people recently diagnosed with PD. The group, sponsored by the Colorado Neurological Institute and the Parkinson Association of the Rockies, has grown to 50 members in six months.

“From learning to cope with the emotional issues associated with a PD diagnosis to the measures we can take to potentially slow down the progression of the disease in the brain, we realized that the information we were gathering for and from the support group is extremely valuable. We needed a way to get this wealth of information to the 65,000 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s every year. So, we decided to create recentlydiagnosedwithpd.org as a national forum specifically for this group,” says Cook.

Vierck and Cook’s philosophy is to be upbeat and focus on solutions. The blog’s tag line describes this spirit: A Blog About Taking Charge of Your Parkinson’s with Optimism, Energy, And Action.

Recentlydiagnosedwithpd.org will cover those topics that are uniquely important to people who are in the early stage of Parkinson’s. They will also keep track of breaking news in Parkinson’s research and provide interviews with experts in PD and other important areas such as nutrition and exercise.

Vierck and Cook will be attending the 2nd World Parkinson’s Congress in Glasgow, Scotland later this month and plan to make regular on-the-scene posts on the blog. The Congress will have representation from medical, organizational and patient communities and expects over 3,000 people from 156 countries.

About the ProjectSpark Foundation.
The ProjectSpark Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of people living with Parkinson’s, their families, and caregivers. It is focused on providing hope for tomorrow by leveraging existing projects and the work of existing organizations, increasing the rate of information dissemination, facilitating participating in clinical trials, and providing support for those recently diagnosed with the disease, For more information on the ProjectSpark Foundation, go to http://www.projectspark.org or follow the foundation on Facebook or Twitter.

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Betsy Vierck
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