By Heather Regula, Correspondent
Over one hundred people participated in the Scott & White Plummer Movement Disorders Center’s “Walking to Awareness” community event, a one-mile Fun Walk and 5K, at Pepper Creek Trail on Saturday, October 13.
“This event is in place of our annual Parkinson’s Patient Symposium, which will be moving from the fall to the spring. We didn’t want not to have a patient-centered event, so we organized a walk. This event is possible thanks to the support and generosity of several community sponsors,” explained Samantha Beevers, Parkinson’s Outreach Coordinator. “This is the first year we are hosting this walk and its’ purpose is to raise awareness and get the community involved. The Plummer Movement Disorders Center funds and assists local support groups located in Temple, Georgetown, and Waco. Exercise is one of the most crucial aspects of helping to slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s affects more people than we realize and being able to provide support, education, and exercise is what we love.”
Alicia Prado put together a large team, appropriately called “Walking With Prado,” in honor of her husband, Bell County Constable Thomas Prado, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2014.
“I saw on Facebook that we could invite our friends to the event, and Samantha encouraged us to put a team together. I thought it would be incredible to invite all of Tom’s friends and family to join us so that he can see how much we all support him. We sold almost 100 shirts for our ‘Walk With Prado’ team, and the support for Tom is overwhelming,” explained Alicia Prado. “Tom’s good friend, Little River Police Chief Lee Dixon was killed June 19, 2014, and we found out about Tom’s diagnosis on June 23rd, 2014. What a week that was for us – it was horrible. When we were first told about the disease, we were initially relieved to at least have a name to put on what was going on. We didn’t have a clue how difficult things could be. God is good though, and we have all grown so much in the years since Tom’s diagnosis – my faith has always been strong, but it’s even stronger now. Tom’s faith is so much stronger now, too. This disease has done some good things for all of us.”
On May 11, 2017, Constable Prado underwent DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) surgery to implant two leads inside of his head. The neurostimulator sends out electrical impulses to certain parts of the brain.
“To me, this Parkinson’s Walk shows Tom and others that they are loved and supported. No one is alone. Before my husband was diagnosed, I’d never even heard of this disease. We are so grateful for this walk and the opportunity to help bring awareness to the public about this disease. We want people to be more aware of this disease – the symptoms especially. Tom’s favorite saying is that he is ‘fighting crime and suppressing evil’ – I call him RoboCop now. He’s amazing. He hasn’t let this disease slow him down or take its toll on him at all. I’m so proud of him and his sincere desire to help the community.”
Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease annually, and more than 10 million people are living with the disease worldwide. It is estimated that nearly one million people will be living with Parkinson’s Disease in the United States by the year 2020. There currently is no cure for the disease, and the cause remains largely unknown.
For more information on Parkinson’s Disease, visit http://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons. More details about the Plummer Movement Disorders Center can be found online at https://www.bswhealth.com/specialties/neuroscience/Pages/plummer-movement-disorders-center.aspx.