About Me


BACKGROUND

I grew up in a very small town – Frenchtown, Montana.  I later moved to Oregon to attend Oregon State University and then medical school at the Oregon Health Sciences University.  After medical school I began active-duty service in the Air Force.  I have been fortunate to live in several interesting places, including the Mississippi Gulf Coast, San Antonio, San Diego, Bitburg (Germany) and now Las Vegas.  Given my interest in travel, I have been able to travel to over 100 countries around the world.

During my childhood all of my favorite hobbies involved sports.  I would participate in whichever sport was in season and that included running on the high school track and cross country teams.  Over the years after high school, I have continued to participate in road races with a waxing and waning commitment to training.  In an attempt to reduce the stress on a bad knee, over the past 3-4 years I have bought a bike, built up some swimming endurance and have started to participate in triathlons.

In 2010, at the age of 44, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  The disease that threatened to take away my two favorite hobbies, sports and travel, has given me a cause toward which to apply my experience and interest in medicine and humanitarian relief.


PARKINSON'S DISEASE AWARENESS



My interest in Parkinson’s Disease awareness and fundraising is an extension my general interest in international humanitarian efforts.  In 2006, 9 years after pursuing a career in Endocrinology, I began a residency in Preventive Medicine.  The change in the focus of my medical career was in part due to the frustration of treating diseases that could be prevented and in part due to an interest in international health issues.  As efforts to prevent preventable diseases and cure curable diseases around the world have been more and more successful, the world’s population is faced with increasing morbidity and mortality caused by incurable, chronic diseases.  Many of these chronic diseases have effective treatments available - treatments that are not particularly expensive, but are not universally available around the world.  It is this reality that motivates my interest in promoting interventions that would will involve multiple fields, including patients,  clinicians, researchers, academic institutions, governments, pharmaceutical companies, fundraising organization and other interested parties to address the need to make effective chronic diseases treatments more available to those in need.

Parkinson’s disease is one such chronic, incurable disease.  It is estimated that over 5 million people live with Parkinson’s disease world-wide and any do not have access to the medications that make the symptoms of the disorder manageable.  However, Parkinson's has other aspects that limit the care of those impacted.  Of particular concern are the delays in diagnosis, the lack of understanding of the symptom complex manifested by those with Parkinson's and the social stigma associated with the condition.

It is my hope that my story and the stories of others that I meet, my travels, and the personal challenges each year will in some small way contribute to the awareness of Parkinson's Disease world-wide and help to bring assistance to those whose lives are impacted by Parkinson's.
        
MY GOALS 
  1. Demonstrate what can be accomplished by those with Parkinson’s, through travel & physical challenges.
  2. Help raise awareness about Parkinson's Disease via in-person meetings, social media outlets, and print & broadcast media. 
    

8 comments:

  1. Enjoy your visit to Austin, Tx. this week. I was hoping to meet you and have heard great things. Unfortunately, work takes be out of town over the weekend this week.

    Bob

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    1. I had a great time with the group in Austin. Hope to meet you at some point -- maybe WPC in Portland?

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  2. Your challenge looks very interesting and I will probably join you but I have a question. How does one hour =30 minutes? Did I miss something? Thanks :) Cathy

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  3. Cathy, I've been waiting for the Power Through Project to update their website, so the teams can be made public before sending out more info. However, for now if you check out their website you'll see more information on their project, include their one hour = 30 virtual "miles". I assume I actually typed minutes instead of miles in one of my posts...will look for it to make the correction. Thanks for the message and take care, Mark

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  6. Hey, I am a fellow YOPD and blogger. Below is a link to my latest blog entry about the future of PD therapies, thought you might be interested in taking a look.

    https://tmrwedition.com/2017/03/23/the-future-of-parkinsons-disease-therapies/

    I have recently started collaborating with a number of research labs that are working towards bringing to practice some of the therapies mentioned in that article with the goal of one day bringing an end to this disease.

    I hope that my article might inspire people to keep fighting knowing that there are so many new and exciting therapies coming soon. Feel free to share that information with anyone who you think might benefit from it.

    Looking forward to what the future has in store,
    Benjamin Stecher
    tmrwedition.com

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