NWPF

PD Community BlogRead Blog

The Evolution of HOPE

Friday September 11, 2015

We sat down with Pete Beidler, Parkinson's Ambassador Extraordinaire, to hear his thoughts on living with Parkinson's, the HOPE Conference and volunteering with NWPF. 

How long have you been diagnosed with PD? How did it affect your life?

PB: I have been diagnosed with PD for ten years. Since my older sister Jo had been diagnosed about five years earlier, I knew some of what to expect: the tremors, the slowness and stiffness, the nausea when I took some of the meds, the uncertain balance, the falling. My diagnosis came at a time of great transition in my life, because I had just retired after forty years of teaching English at Lehigh University, and my wife Anne and I had just decided to move from the east coast to the west coast, where most of our family lived. The diagnosis was just one more huge change. At first I was angry. What had I done to have my retirement plans destroyed by Parkinson’s? But soon enough I got used to the idea and found that I could still do most of what I wanted to do in retirement: write, travel, build, make friends. Now, a decade later, I still am doing those things.                         

How did you get involved in NWPF? Did it bring any change to your life?

PB: I guess my introduction to the good work of the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation was at the 2008 HOPE conference here in Seattle. I was amazed to learn that there were so many people with Parkinson’s and that, in part because of the NWPF and the APDA, lots of research was going forward. It made me realize that, hey, someone cares about us! And I do want to express my appreciation to NWPF and APDA for getting the word out! 

I am grateful to the NWPF for initiating the Parkinson's Cafe which occurs on the fourth Wednesday every month at 1:30 pm. It’s a place where people with Parkinson's gather to talk and have fun. The Parkinson's Cafe helps us all to understand that we are not alone with our disease.

13450022665 Bd1976fda9 B Cropped

How did you get involved in the HOPE Conference, and what roles have you played in the conference?

PB: At first I was just a shaky guy out in the audience. Then someone asked me to help organize a pre-conference session on support group for people with Parkinson’s. Then someone asked me if I would help with a Yoga for Parkinson’s demonstration. Then someone asked if I would like to be a greeter and welcome people to the conference as they came in. This is my third year as a greeter. One of my friends calls me Peter the Sweeter Greeter! Of course, I go to all of the sessions, so I am still mostly just that shaky guy out in the audience.

Pete Beidler Doing Yoga

What have been your favorite features of previous HOPE Conferences?

PB: I’ve been to six or seven HOPE Conferences now. I really enjoy seeing my friends come out of the elevator, and I really enjoy making new friends during the meals and breakout sessions. It is comforting to be in a room with, what, six hundred or so people, many of them with family members, whose lives have been touched by Parkinson’s. The HOPE Conference makes me realize that, hey, I ain’t alone with this disease. As for programming, I particularly like the speakers with a medical orientation. I love finding out what is out there on the research horizons. If you want a specific name, I’d mention Dr. Laurie Mischley, a Seattle-based naturopathic doctor who is engaged in ongoing research on nutrition and nontraditional treatments for Parkinison’s. She is a fine and inspirational speaker, and she always lifts my spirits.

What’s the highlight, for you, of this year’s conference? Which session seems most exciting to you?

PalfremanPB: The speaker I am most looking forward to is Jon Palfreman, whose talk is on his book Brain Storms; The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson’s. It’s a great title, though I confess that the first time I read it I read it as Miseries, not Mysteries. This disease IS mysterious, and the first step to finding a cure and ending the miseries is unlocking the mysteries. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say!     

Is there anything you’d like to say to newcomers not sure if they should come to HOPE?

PB: Sure, I’d say, For goodness sake, get on over to Bellevue on Saturday, September 26! You’ll be stimulated by the speakers, the breakout sessions, the camaraderie, the food, the information tables, and, especially, in the main hall, being welcomed by Peter the Sweeter Greeter! That last, alone, is worth the $35 registration fee!

Register Now Button - Eventbrite

Interview conducted by NWPF intern Yiran Shi

Recent Posts

The Thief vs. A Superhero
The Parkinson's Pandemic
Parkinson's and Profanity
Parkinson's Pain by Proxy
Autoimmune Diseases

Archives

2017 2016
Lies That Parkinson's Disease Told Me
Managing the Holiday Blues 2016
Who Was That Masked Man?
The Rain Is Shining — A Thanksgiving Message
Book Review - H.O.P.E.: Four Keys to a Better Quality of Life for Parkinson's
David Leventhal: Dancer, Teacher, Community Leader, Humanitarian, Movement Specialist
Meet Emily!
Rhonda Foulds, Outrunning Parkinson's Disease
Book Review: The Perapatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease
Staff Stories - Melanie
Snake Oil, the Cure for Parkinson's.
Book Review: Nan Little
Life's a Lot Better with NWPF
Tipping Points
Book Review: Natural Therapies for Parkinson's Disease
Dare to Attend a Support Group
Ten for David
Time After Time: Kim Farmer's Story
The Glass is Half-Full
Book Review: Reverse Parkinson's Disease
Contentment
Parkinson's and Free Will
A positive attitude is everything
Book Review - Lucky Man: A Memoir
Alexithymia, the Parkinson’s Get Out of Jail Free Card
We Make Them Together: Major Decisions in Caregiving
Boxing is cool
Safety with Style: House Renovations you can hold on to
Book review: On My Own
Shaken to the Core
Isolation and Parkinson's Disease, The hiding and the hidden
Camp Brian Interview
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
Book review: Shake Well Before Use
Notes on Acceptance
"Advice" to a person with Advancing Parkinson's Disease
Needed: New Parkinson’s Vocabulary
Caregiving: Ken's Story
A Well-Tested Testimonial, or Spin for Parkinson's
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
Caregiving: Susan's Story
Rock Steady Boxing: Emily
Book Review: My Degeneration, A Journey Through Parkinson's
The Marble Halls of Power
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
2015
ROCKIN’ AROUND THE GROCERY CART
Managing the Holiday Blues
Book Review: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families
The joke is on Parkinson's
I don't always like groups, but when I do...
JBC + DBS: A Mostly-Love Story (Continued)
Rock Steady Boxing: Fred Hyde
Present Moment: A Continued Conversation
Book Review: Navigating Life with Parkinson's Disease
JBC + DBS: A Mostly-Love Story
Present Moment
On the scent of Parkinson’s disease
Harold Allen (Hal) Newsom
The 2016 World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland, Oregon is Fast Approaching: Make Plans to Attend
Flowers on Dr. Starr's Tie
Leading the life of malicious whimsy
Listen: Unlocking Parkinson's Disease
Book Review: If I Can Climb Kilimanjaro, Why Can't I Brush My Teeth?
The Evolution of HOPE
QUIZ: How well do you know your Parkinson’s Disease?
Living with Hope
Notes on Hope
Tug, tug, tug
Denial on Trial
Flowers in Our Hair
Resilience: Bouncing Back from Adversity
Summer Travel
Tina Sawyer Steps Up Fundraising in Seaside
The uncooperative patient
To be in June
Pressure Sores
Caring for a Spouse Living with PD
Life Lessons
Doc Parkinson - A Eulogy
Boom Go Parkinson’s Costs
From the Depths of the Cupboards: Pumpkin Bars
Doctor's Visits
Get Moving!
Choosing a shared burden
Our Brain's "Negativity Bias" Part 2
Outside of Language
Managing Constipation in Parkinson’s Disease
Replacements
Finding Time for Caregiver Care
The Helplessness Antidote
Examples of living your best
10 exercise tips for people with Parkinson's
Bit on Basketball
Suggestions for the Shaken
Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) Report
Our Brain’s “Negativity Bias”
Living for a Cure
Three Huge Changes for People with Parkinson's
Caregiving, the Next Level
Parkinson's Pundit
Perseverance
Making Spousal Relationships Work
Parkinson’s and Luck
Strength. Courage.
Resolve to be a Better Caregiver!
Update from the Parkinson's Action Network
Strategies to Achieve our New Year’s Resolutions and Goals
Movement is Medicine
2014 2013 2012
Most popular posts of 2012
What are you grateful for this holiday season?
How can I tell whether medications are wearing off or Parkinson’s disease is progressing?
Can a person with Parkinson’s give blood?
When is the right time to start Levodopa?
Can acupuncture help PD symptoms?
Support the Caregiver in your Life
Power of the mind to move treatment further
Top 10 Foods for Parkinson’s (and counting!)
How can I prevent dizziness?
What can you tell me about laser light therapy and Parkinson’s
What is music therapy?
Should I take Coenzyme Q10 for my Parkinson’s?
How do I treat my cough at night?
Parkinson’s fitness programs need to be tailored to the individual to get results
Carrying the Olympic Torch for Parkinson’s today
Coffee reduces risk of Parkinson’s. What about other foods?
Facts about depression
How can I find a good doctor who is knowledgeable about PD and is caring as well? My doctor does not always listen.
Help for constipation
Sex, Intimacy and Parkinson’s
Does DBS affect speech?
Walking and balance can significantly impact quality of life- but is treatable.
Depression is common with Parkinson’s
Ode to Parkinson’s- Poem from Member
Music Enhances Brain Activity
How does posture change with Parkinson’s?
What is important to you?
Are hallucinations caused by Parkinson’s?
Hot Off the Press – Neupro approved by FDA
How do I find a Parkinson’s physical therapist to keep me exercising?
Does Azilect slow disease progression?
Manage nausea from medicines
Is delaying medication harmful?
Advice for newly diagnosed
Is Parkinson’s Hereditary?
Medication Timing
Is gambling a side effect of medicine?
Medication Assistance
Does stress cause Parkinson’s?
When to see a physical therapist
FDA approves DATScan
Coconut Oil
Protein’s effect on medicine
Restless Leg Syndrome