I was diagnosed in 2006, aged 48 – I thought I was just getting old when my friends noticed first symptoms. However, I made a list and told my doctor (GP) about it. As with most people with early-onset Parkinson’s, I denied my diagnosis for a year. Now I’m sixty.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common, occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. One couldn’t ask for more.
Ten years ago I became active in support groups. At the 4th World Parkinson Congress in Portland I had the idea of artists singing duets together with PwPs, to show their fans that we’re just as human as they are. I thought that by building a cool website outlining the project it would grow quickly, and that thousands of people around the world would join in a big way like when Bob Geldof called for help for Band Aid.
The reality wasn’t like that. It took three years to get the fine musicians on this CD together. They have different backgrounds, from singer-songwriters to melodic hardrock, but they all share the passion for music, and so eleven original duets were recorded just in time to be launched at the 5th World Parkinson Congress in Kyoto, in June 2019.
I am most grateful for the support from the Parkinson’s community and the music industry. The projects was made possiblke with the generosity of Austrian medicare.