Doug Nemeth was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease ten years ago and has participated in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk since 2009 as a member of “Livin’ La Levodopa.” Doug believes resilience is one of the factors that contribute to his living well with Parkinson’s disease and recently shared this story.
Helaine Isaacs Event Director
Nearly 45 years ago, my parents gave me a small stick of a lemon tree as a gift. It survived high school, went with me to college and survived the move from Florida to Florence, NJ. It survived six moves in the Reading area of Pennsylvania, one during a Halloween snowstorm. It survived severe drought outside in the summer especially when we went on vacation. I always hired a local teenager to water the tree in my absence but inevitably the youth hired to do the job felt that a one minute rain shower was adequate for the 3’ tree until we returned home a week later, in spite of daily temperatures of 95 degrees. The tree always rebounded when it saw me and the hose. It survived me waiting until Thanksgiving to bring it inside after barely enduring freezing temperatures. Everyone who knows me well knows I have this lemon tree a very long time! They also probably have enjoyed lemonade from my lemon tree or at least a squeeze of lemon in their water or tea. The tree has yielded countless bushels of lemons over the years and has had over 25 full size lemons on it at any one time.
By this past winter, it was obvious that time had taken its toll. The lemon tree lost all of its leaves during an early frost. I forgot I put it in the guest bedroom – my cognitive functioning is fading due to my living with Parkinson’s disease – and the tree was apparently dead after six weeks of “drought” at my own hand. In late April, with no one wanting to even mention the lemon tree, I put it out to its final resting place. At the last minute, I decided to repot it. It was lifeless…rotted roots and no green anywhere but I decided to do it anyway. Everyone chuckled about the dead tree in my garden. Two months later, after having been without leaves for eight months, the tree is starting to push out growth everywhere. It is nothing short of a miracle. If that tree can live through that, I can certainly live with Parkinson’s disease. That lemon tree has taught me about resilience. It is a family heirloom. My son, Zach says the only thing he wants of mine after I’m gone is the lemon tree. Take good care of it Zach and continue to learn from it.
April 30th, 2015 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director
Congratulations to Rachel Kane, team member of Team Big Daddy Kane for winning the social media contest on Walk Day by submitting her photo on Instagram and tagging it with #puw2015 @unitywalk. The Unity Walk will send Rachel a hooded PUW sweatshirt that she plans on giving to her dad.
April 28th, 2015 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director
It’s likely you are experiencing the same Post-Walk “Glow” that we are – basking in the experience of Walk day, the spirit of the teams, and the sense of community that is created when thousands gather all committed to the same cause of finding the cause and cure for Parkinson’s disease. The sun shining is always a welcome bonus!
We hope you enjoy viewing this video that captures the energy and support that is so apparent at the Walk and includes many of your favorite Walk moments. Thank you for sharing and most of all, thank you for all you do in support of the Unity Walk and Parkinson’s research. We are in this fight together until a cure is found!
April 20th, 2015 by Helaine Isaacs, Event Director
Many of our teams proudly wear their team t-shirts at the Walk, displaying their bright colors, clever team names and creative designs. Do you see your 2014 team t-shirt in the photo? Did you know that the top 50 team captains will be entered into a raffle drawing to win a PUW memory quilt made up of approximately 50 team t-shirts from the 2015 Unity Walk? Whether you win or not, we hope you’ll be part of this prize by bringing an extra team t-shirt with you on Walk day and dropping it off with the volunteer at the Team Photo booth. Can’t make it to the Walk or forgot to bring it with you the day of the Walk? No problem. You can mail it to the Unity Walk office at PO Box 275, Kingston, NJ 08528. The Unity Walk reserves the right to select which t-shirts to include in the quilt.
We received a treasure trove of team t-shirts last year and hope to have the same experience this April. Having your team t-shirt be a part of this quilt symbolizes the part you play in the Unitiy Walk. We couldn’t create this quilt without you!
Join us on Friday, April 24, 2015 as we gather outside the Today Show to help raise awareness about the 21st Unity Walk!
We will gather on the plaza outside the Today Show on Friday morning, April 24th to raise awareness of the 2015 Parkinson’s Unity Walk.
Please check this blog before coming to the Today Show to confirm that the meeting time and location have not changed. Here are the details as of now:
Some of us will arrive as early as 5:00am to hold a spot in line on West 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. No need for you to get there that early but you’re welcome to.
At 6:30am, they will allow us onto the plaza. We will do our best to be on the north side of the plaza nearest West 49th Street.
We will be wearing PUW t-shirts and have signage, so look for us there!
We’ll have signs for you to carry or you can help hold up our banner.
Feel free to wear a PUW t-shirt if you have one. If not, we will have extra PUW t-shirts.
Around 7:00am, Today Show staff comes out about once every half hour, depending on their segments and the weather. Best case, we may have ten seconds to plug the Walk.
If you see us on TV, you can tweet @unitywalk and use hashtag #PUW2015 or go on our Facebook page.
DRESS WARM!!! Even though it is April, it can be considerably colder in the early hours than it is at noon. It may feel more like February or March at that hour, so dress in layers.
If you need to reach out someone on Thursday night or Friday morning about the Today Show, please call our Event Director, Helaine Isaacs on her cell 609-651-9155.
It’s possible that we might be out there for a couple of hours to get several seconds of air time for the Unity Walk but we think it’s worth it. It’s a great “warm up” for the Unity Walk and you’ll get to meet a great group of fellow Unity Walk supporters. Please consider joining us!
Questions? Call our office at 866-789-9255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you there.