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Peabody to Kick Off Parkinson's Awareness Month

A panel of the Parkinson's Disease quilt will be on display at City Hall from Monday to Friday next week.

The city will recognize Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month with a proclamation from Mayor Michael Bonfanti on Monday morning; a panel of the Parkinson's Disease quilt made by a Peabody woman afflicted with the disease.

The event is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. and will feature Bonfanti, Peabody resident Diane Durkee, 71, and several medical experts from Massachusetts General Hospital and other proactive Parkinson's Disease groups. Their goal is to raise awareness about the neurological disease that over 1 million people in the U.S.

Durkee's panel of the quilt will be on display at City Hall from Monday to Friday. The panel is 8-feet by 8-feet and Durkee decided to rent one of the 16 panels that make up the quilt after learning about the program on Facebook. The panel she rented contains a block that she made.

The Parkinson's Quilt is a program sponsored by the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. The quilt includes panels made by people like Durkee who have been living with the disease or know people who have been affected by it.

The quilt will make many stops during the foundation's month-long awareness campaign with Peabody being one of the first.

Joel Herskowitz March 31, 2011 at 02:07 PM
One of the most common problems with Parkinson's disease is swallowing difficulty. It often results in pneumonia because of food going "down the wrong tube." This pneumonia can lead to worsening of neurologic symptoms and, unfortunately, death. To learn more about swallowing problems associated with Parkinson's disease and other neurologic disorders such as stroke and multiple sclerosis, Drs. Roya Sayadi and Joel Herskowitz have written a book entitled: "SWALLOW SAFELY: How Swallowing Problems Threaten the Elderly and Others. A Caregiver's Guide to Recognition, Treatment, and Prevention." It is available through www.SwallowSafely.com, Amazon.com, and public libraries.

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