Approximately seven thousand foundations are registered in Poland. Why, therefore, we are setting up one more, and with such a name as “LIFE WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE”? What is the point in helping incurable people? We know hospices, suffering of patients with cancer, but few people know how a person with Parkinson’s disease looks and lives, what does it mean that the disease is incurable, and how such person suffers. Sometimes persons with Parkinson’s disease are suspected to be alcoholics because their steps are unsteady, their hands tremble when they count small coins, their faces resemble masks, and they are not able to laugh – such is the general opinion about Parkinson’s disease. Here the knowledge stops, and details are known neurologists only.
We need, therefore, information, social education, efficient assistance for sick persons and their families, cooperation with physicians.
More than four million people suffer from Parkinson’s disease in the world, in Europe they constitute 1.6% of people with age over 65 years, in France, every year, are diagnosed more than eight thousand patients with Parkinson’s disease.
And in Poland?
Specialists assess that there are about one hundred forty thousand sick people. There is no hope, at the moment, to discover a method or drug, which would efficiently cure the disease. We have been using, for 30 years, the drug Levodopa as the so-called “golden medicine”. Pharmaceutical companies - ROCHE, NOVARTIS, GLAXO, BAYER, ELI LILLY, and others, assign substantial financial funds for research on new drugs. Time and thousands of scientists work in favour of Parkinsonics. Introduction of new drugs, extending the action of Levodopa, scientific achievements in genetics and research on functioning of the human brain, discoveries of mutual interaction between the human body and psyche – are some harbingers of efficient cure of the disease in the nearest future.
However, we have to offer help for patients today, so that they can endure inconveniences linked with this disease, and this is as important as administration of drugs.
Therefore, setting up of the “Life with Parkinson’s Disease” Foundation, became a necessity. WE have more and more sick persons, frequently within the age of 45– 55 years. The scope of help offered for these persons by social institutions is very limited. In this situation, the Foundation constitutes an authentic and concrete initiative of offering help to patients with Parkinson’s disease and to their families, and it supports and develops, as well, regional initiatives, particularly through associations and mutual aid groups.
I am deeply convinced that the understanding and generosity of donors will allow us to accomplish our statutory tasks.
We pin also our hopes on volunteers’ activities, especially on the young ones. Disease and age do not constitute an obstacle in contacts. These are important principles in building a just and civic society. Patient, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, are able and want to participate in this process, when they see social solidarity with them.
I would like to thank very much to the first Founders, who appreciated my intentions and helped in undertaking this so difficult task – to trigger social initiatives and to maintain hopes.
Initiator of the Foundation’s establishment