When you live in or very near our nation’s Capital, Washington, DC, American national news becomes your local news. The constant bombardment of fighting and badmouthing gets overwhelming. How do two parties, both made up of flesh and blood, elected to oversee, govern, and protect millions of fellow humans also made up of flesh and blood who are in a position to help so many and capable of making life better for others, so dormant and implacable? Time is of the essence.
Since 1995, almost every year since, I have consistently pleaded with my representatives about increasing the funding for more Parkinson’s disease research for the National Institutes for Health (NIH), implementing telemedicine, expanding better and faster drugs and devices, and made a loud cry for the importance of creating a national data collection system for neurological diseases. There were moments of fleeting successes, scattered over the years, but our current Congress shows little signs of budging, even on issues that could save immediate lives. This is about real people in need.
If the current estimate of 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year is nearly accurate, it is probable that many patients are either misdiagnosed or not at all. It took me 6 years and 9 doctors to get my diagnosis. I know many others who faced the same journey to a diagnosis.
No one should be forced to be faced with the decision to either afford groceries or their medications. No one should be homeless with Parkinson’s disease. Something is terribly wrong when it has come to this.
Whether one has an illness or not, for the betterment of the country as a whole and all those seeking progress, compromise must be acted, immediately.