Letter to the Editor: Orange County Parkinson Support Group celebrates 14 years
Orange County Parkinson Support Group, for Parkinson Awareness, will celebrate their 14th Anniversary Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at St Francis Church, 4300 Meeks Dr, Orange, Texas.
In July of 2005, Eligha Guillory, Jr asked his mother Ella Guillory to form a Parkinson Support Group In Orange. Eligha is the founder of the Eljay Foundation for Parkinson’s Awareness in Lake Charles, La.
Earlier that year, the National Parkinson Foundation named Ella the Care Giver of the year. The Orange Leader had a front-page story about her receiving this award. When I read the article, I knew I had to call and congratulate her. A few weeks later we met in Houston in the Doctor’s office. We had appointments on the same day with the same Doctor. Both of us believe God’s hand was guiding us to meet and form the group.
Both families have a history of PD. Ella’s husband Jay, was diagnosed with the disease in his early 30s; Eligha and his sister Daphne were very young. The family was overwhelmed by the news, that Jay had PD.
When Eligha finished college he founded the ELJAY foundation to help those with PD and to give information about the disease to them.
I was 66 when I was told I had Parkinson’s. My Mother had PD for 30 years and had medication to control the disease, the last two years of her life. My older sister also had PD. Like Eligha I was only a child when I heard for the first time “Parkinson Disease’. I didn’t understand what that was but from the beginning, I knew it was serious.
Ella and I came together for a reason. When men and women are told by the Doctor, they have Parkinson Disease without exception they all go into denial. No one outside the immediate family is told the diagnosis.
Orange County Parkinson Support Group’s mission from that first meeting on August 5, 2005, is to give what we have learned about PD to others who are seeking answers, to educate and encourage them so they will know they are not alone on this journey.
The Support Group meets on the first Wednesday of every month (except June and July) at 10:00 am at St Francis Church, 4300 Meeks Dr, Orange, Texas. Books and pamphlets with information on PD are available at every meeting.
We are blessed to live in a time that has all the tools needed to control the symptoms of the disease.
We are thankful for the research going on all over the world and in the United States. This gives us hope that one day soon a cure will be found and Parkinson Disease will be a distant memory.
Wanda J Simar
www.parkinson.org NATIONAL PARKINSON FOUNDATION
www.eljayfd.org ELJAY FOUNDATION