Omotola Thomas

UK/Nigeria

Age diagnosed: 35

Specialist interest: Awareness and engagement

I am a wife, mother, blogger, speaker, and self-proclaimed “reckless optimist”. I err on the side of a positive mindset as I believe that a person’s mindset (perspective) can have an incredible influence on the outcome of any situation they find themselves in. I believe that we all have the power to make a positive impact in the lives of others; and I believe we are obligated to utilise that power. I like listening to music, writing, and practising headstands. Why is the World Parkinson Congress (WPC) important to me: This would be my first attendance at the congress; I got diagnosed 3 years ago shortly before the 2016 Portland conference, but I did not learn about the WPC until after the conference had ended. It is important to me for a number of reasons:
  • I will be amongst the leading and most prominent professional Parkinson’s expert, so there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained from them.
  • I will meet and connect with many PWPs from across the globe and gain valuable insight about how other people manage this disease.
  • I am fortunate enough to have been an opportunity to share my story to an international audience.
What I hope to get out of WPC:
  • I hope to return empowered and armed with better insight and information on how to best tackle PD.
  • I hope to make new and lasting friendships.
  • I hope to make professional connections with individuals and organisations that will assist in my quest to enhance the way PD is perceived and treated in my home country, Nigeria, and other parts of Africa.
  • October 2018: YOPD/MEP EU Parliament discussions.
  • December 2018 – April 2019: Co-organised/managed the “United for PD” global awareness campaign.
  • April 2019: Co-organised Parkinson’s Eve – conference organised by women with PD for women with PD.

I have a burden to help people with Parkinson’s, specifically those that fall into the “underserved population” groups.

Other areas of interest include raising awareness of PD, organising educational and informative conferences for people with PD and their families/friends.

Plus:
– Writing/Blogging
– Presenting/Speaking
– YOPD
– Women and PD

What is the one thing you want to change in the world?

The fact that, for billions of people, access to healthcare is largely determined by their socio-economic status.

What advice would you give to others who are keen to get involved in Parkinson’s research?

I would commend them and remind them of how valuable their participation is to the lives of people with PD.

If they are interested in trials, I would also ask them to make sure they fully understand everything about the trial – particularly, the risks that may be involved.

Is there a piece of reading you would recommend to someone wanting to find out more about Parkinson’s research?

Simon Stott’s blog – Science of Parkinson’s

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