Event April 16 to be held in Observance of Parkinson’s Awareness Month

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 5, 2012 — This April, millions of people around the world will recognize April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Cape Girardeau County residents are working hard to make their contribution on a local level. A Parkinson’s Support Group has been started that will meet the third Monday of each month. The Parkinson’s Support Group is a collaborative effort between Southeast Missouri State University College of Health and Human Services Gerontology program/initiatives, SoutheastHealth and Saint Francis Medical Center.

The Southeast Missouri Parkinson’s Support Group invites community members to participate in Parkinson’s Awareness Month by attending an educational event on Monday, April 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Cape Girardeau Public Library located at 711 N. Clark Street in Cape Girardeau.

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that is chronic and progressive. It affects many in our own community. Not only that: • Nearly one million Americans are living with Parkinson’s. • Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected. • Seven to 10 million people worldwide are estimated to be living with Parkinson’s disease. • Incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed before the age of 50. • Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for or definitive cause of Parkinson’s disease.

Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for or definitive cause of Parkinson’s disease. That’s why Southeast Missouri Parkinson’s Support Group is rallying Cape Girardeau County this April to raise awareness in hopes to find a cure.

As Desma Reno, MSN, RN, local facilitator and assistant professor of nursing at Southeast Missouri State University, said, “Living with Parkinson’s is a community issue. We all need to be more aware of chronic diseases like Parkinson’s. Participation in support groups and in fundraisers helps caregivers and those living with this disease better cope.”

Reno invites all community members to join the support group in raising Parkinson’s awareness by attending the April 16 meeting. Please contact Reno at (573) 651-2939 for more information about Parkinson’s disease and the regional support group.