Dickinson Parkinson group to host UP Parkinson Disease Symposium

JO BIDWELL

IRON MOUNTAIN — The Parkinson Society Support Group of Dickinson County area will host its third annual U.P. Parkinson Disease Symposium from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, in Fornetti Hall and lower commons area of Bay College West in Iron Mountain.

This is a Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin event focusing on Parkinson’s disease. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the program at 9.

Returning will be keynote speaker Jo Bidwell of Lubbock, Texas, with her speech, “I Have Parkinson’s Disease, Now What?” A director of support groups in northwestern Texas and southern New Mexico, Bidwell keeps abreast of new developments, research, medications and treatments for Parkinson’s disease and produces the quarterly publication, “The Tulip Messenger.”

Bidwell has a bachelor of science degree in counseling and a master’s degree in health education. She was the information and referral coordinator for the Lubbock office of the American Parkinson Disease Association for 17 years, and has taught nutrition at a local college for more than 30 years while doing the APDA job. She also was the neurology educator for Covenant Health System. While busy being a grandmother, she also continues to serve her Parkinson’s disease family in Texas, New Mexico and the U.P.

Also on the symposium agenda is Nadine Waeghe, who has ties to Escanaba but now lives and works in Redwood City, Calif. She has a bachelor of science degree in biology and a master’s in physical therapy, providing sports medicine services to urban and suburban high schools, colleges, U.S. Olympic Training Centers and other professional, amateur and recreational sporting events.

Her topic will be “An Integrative Approach to Reverse Parkinson’s Syndrome.” She wants to expose the audience to a variety of simple and not- so-simple alternative therapies and self-care options that can reduce progression of the disease and, if intervention is early enough, completely reverse the process.

Other guests include Paul Sturgul, speaking on legal issues to face when dealing with a Parkinson’s diagnosis; John Debelak with a book review; and a variety of health care vendors.

A breakout session in the afternoon will let participants hear about other Parkinson’s issues.

The final session will be a question-and-answer period with panelists about Parkinson’s.

Registration for the symposium can be done through the Michigan Parkinson Foundation at www.parkinsonsmi.org or by calling 1-800-852-9781. A $5 registration fee will be collected for the Michigan Parkinson Foundation to help defray the cost.

Beverages and donuts will be available in the morning and a box lunch at noon. Prizes will be given out throughout the day.

Health care vendors also will have displays set up.

“Come for a day of information, activities and interaction,” said Pauline Hill, group facilitator.

For more information, call Hill at 906-774-0332.

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