Nashville Predators' Associate Coach Brent Peterson makes light of his daily battle with Parkinson's disease. He says your best chance to beat him at golf is when his right side gets stiff as a result of the disease.
Peterson's friend, former NBA big man Brian Grant, left hand trembling, says "shake it till you make it."
They both refer to actor Michael J. Fox description of living with Parkinson's. It's not like stepping off a cliff, Fox says. It's like having cement shoes on in the middle of the street waiting for the bus to hit you. You don't know when it's going to get there, but it's coming. Fox says he's trying to change the bus route through funding Parkinson's research.
At the Peterson for Parkinson's event, I try to imagine what it would be like to experience a steady neurological decline in the prime of my life. For these brave men, it seems to ultimately motivate them to try and save themselves and others before it's too late.
At Vanderbilt Medical Center, where Peterson is treated, doctors use the funds raised by Peterson for Parkinson's to make astounding progress. One path that seems promising uses skin tissue to grow new stem cells - stem cells that will regenerate brain cells that Parkinson's kills. It's amazing to understand that in our seemingly modern and advanced world, diseases like Parkinson's are not close to being fully understood.
Peterson asked for our help in any of three ways: Donate money, donate time and offer prayer. Those are the ways we'll change the Parkinson's bus route.