Wind: 0 mph
Consider this timeline:
January 2002 - Lincoln, NH
Kids: "C'mon Dad, let's ski the trees!"
Gary: "You guys go ahead. I'll catch up at the bottom. My edges need tuning."
December 2002 - North Conway, NH
NH State Trooper: "License and registration please."
Gary: "Yes, officer, but what was I doing wrong?"
NH State Trooper: "You weren't staying in your lane, but you've obviously not been drinking. I won't write you up, but try to be more mindful of the lane markers."
Gary: "Thank you, officer. I appreciate it."
December 2003 - Waitsfield, VT
Claudia: "Hon, you're shuffling when you walk. Are you ok? I think we should go to the emergency room."
Gary: "Don't worry hon, I'm just tired. I'll see the doctor after the holidays."
March 2004 - Waitsfield, VT
Doctor: "Well, good news, the MRI results are negative. You've got no evidence of stroke or tumors."
Gary: "Oh, that's great doctor! A clean bill of health! All I've got to do is lose the damn extra weight."
Doctor: "That won't hurt, but I think you should have a thorough checkup by a neurologist."
Gary: "Whatever you think is best, doctor. I assume the exam is covered."
May 2004 - Berlin, VT
Neurologist: "Touch your fingers together as fast as you can...tap your heel...touch your finger to your nose..."
Gary: "Did I pass, doctor?"
Neurologist: "Tell me, Gary, do you have any idea about what might be going on?"
Gary: "I assume something neurological, doctor, but I haven't a clue."
Neurologist: "I'm afraid you have Parkinson's disease. There's a lot of research going on, and a promising clinical trial at UVM that you qualify for.... I want you in it. But as of now, I fear you'll be in pretty rough shape in 10 years or so. I'm sorry. Good luck."
Parkinson's disease sneaks up on you. At first you might feel a tremor, or notice that you take steps slowly, or that your balance is just a little off, or that you favor an arm or leg. Then you go through the tests, and get the news, life-altering news, for some, life-shattering news. There are many people in The Valley who have become victims to Parkinson's and many more whose lives have been touched by the disease.
The Moving Mountains Foundation is my family's response to this news. The foundation is our protest against an incurable disease, based on the hope that the incurability is temporary. We are in our fourth year of operation with a clear vision to engage the mountain community into the winnable race to find a cure.
In a recent New York Times article, Carl Hulse described the political dilemma facing the incoming government regarding efforts to expand federal spending on embryonic stem cell research. The debate centers on the method of the expansion: executive order or legislation?
The important message here is that the government is discussing how to do it, not if they should do it. Or, when will we unleash the power of the American scientific community on promising research into neurological and other disorders, not will we do it?
So, the opportunity to make major strides in the fight against Parkinson's disease is now.
Crosby lives in Fayston.