Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Promoting The Global Parkinson's Pledge

“We, the undersigned members of the global Parkinson’s community”

          This is the introductory line of the Global Parkinson's Pledge.  My hope is that no matter what your connection to Parkinson's Disease - you will take a minute to join "the global Parkinson's community" and add your name to the list of those who have signed the Global Parkinson's Pledge.
          In 1997, the first meeting of the World Health Organization Working Group on Parkinson’s Disease was held in Geneva, Switzerland.  The summary report included five recommendations that you can read here:     Parkinson's Disease and Public Health
          The working group also produced the Global Declaration on Parkinson’s Disease, which was signed by representatives of the WHO’s six regions.  The actions of the working group and the documents they produced became the basis for the Global Parkinson's Pledge, which "was launched at the second World Parkinson Congress in Glasgow, Scotland on September 28, 2010." The Pledge continues to be promoted by the World Parkinson Coalition and I first became aware of the Pledge at the World Parkinson Congress in Montreal in 2013.

 “We therefore call upon governments, health agencies of the United Nations system, and patient-oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs) throughout the world to:"

         These words form the header for the second page of the Pledge.  What follows is a simple outline of actions that governments and other organizations can take to help provide assistance to those affected by Parkinson’s.  
          I became acutely aware of the potential power of this document last year, during my Run-the-World 4 Parkinson’s Disease. Prof Maja Relja, a leading Neurologist in Croatia and all-around amazing person, was able to parlay World Parkinson's Day celebrations and my visit, into a public meeting with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic.  In the brief time we had with these leaders, the pledge provided a focal point to present the needs of the Parkinson’s community and their signing the pledge provided a public display of their support.

“Furthermore, we celebrate this momentum created by the second World Parkinson Congress and commit ourselves to working together to build a global Parkinson’s movement, designed to elevate Parkinson’s disease as a priority health, social and economic issue around the world.”

        These words are found in the closing of the Global Parkinson’s Pledge.   Celebrate-Commit-Build-Elevate are perfect verbs to describe what I hope to achieve by promoting Parkinson's Awareness through 444 Parkinson's Traveler.   

          At the end of March 2015, 24,922 individuals from 129 countries and territories world-wide had signed the pledge.  However, in the first 3 months of 2015. only 59 new signatures were added. Therefore, in recognition of Parkinson Awareness Month - April 2015, I am trying to start a grassroots social media campaign to gather as many signatures on the Global Parkinson's Pledge as possible.
           Please help me by simply clicking on the link below...then reading and signing the Global Parkinson’s Pledge.

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