Daniel DeWitt

USA

Age diagnosed: 56

Specialist interest: Involvement, Clinical trials

I am at my best when operating as a teammate in a group. I love making connections with a group’s members and facilitating its objectives. My marriage, family, church, professional practice, community involvement, and fellow Parkinson’s travellers all provide important opportunities for service and involvement. I bring humor, stimulating questions, creative ideas, and a collaborative spirit to the table.

  • Trained as a Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Research Advocate
  • Participate as a Parkinson’s Patient Advocate for Parkinson’s Foundation
  • Founded and facilitate Team Spark, a local Parkinson’s support group
  • Participate in clinical trials and encourage others to do so
  • Volunteered at World Parkinson’s Congress
  • Attend and participate in Van Andel Institute’s Grand Challenges and Rallying to the Challenges events

Attend conferences and meetings where researchers speak and meet them in person. We need each other and all benefit from a personal connection.

I am an enthusiastic advocate for Parkinson’s research, always eager to encourage researchers and inform patients about opportunities to participate. I am curious about treatments and strategies to remediate motor symptoms. Ginny and I participated in clinical studies related to gait dysfunction and the cholinergic system.  I am even more drawn to understanding non-motor symptoms and their profound effect on patients. The chance to work with VAI and CureParkinson’s on this is most exciting.

As a Psychologist, I am interested in “Healing Strategies” which encourage patients to be active in their treatment and the maintenance of quality of life. Positive actions and expectations almost always improve overall outcomes. Exercise, nutrition, supportive relationships, brain plasticity, and adaptive strategies and tools all hold promise for near-term positive impact.

Team Spark has been a blessing to me and to my wife and “care partner” Ginny. We continually hear how important the group has been in the lives of other participants. Our aim is expand the group and its functions, without becoming impersonal and unwieldy.

What is the one thing you want to change in the world? “Empowering patients with chronic diseases to live better.”

 

 

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