My name is Addie Cunningham. When my dad, Don Waterman was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008, it was devastating news. I am in awe of how God has used my dad’s diagnosis to form such an amazing foundation and exercise program that now provides hope for people all over the state of Indiana. From the beginning, we have prayed, “God, do something BIG”, and He is continually providing and showing us ways on how His vision is becoming a reality. God is good!
A Caregiver Story
Care-giving is certainly not a dream come true, but knowing who can give support and comfort to a caregiver is a blessing. I found support in many ways through The Climb of the Indiana Parkinson Foundation. All I had to do was ask a question and someone had an answer that helped me solve my concern/problem. The trainers were well-versed in knowledge for physical concerns. Programs brought in put me in contact with agencies and services I needed to care for my husband at home. Best of all were the free hugs and smiles that were always available.
My husband was wheelchair bound on several occasions as we visited The Climb weekly. The smiles, hand shakes, high fives and hugs were the best medicine he could receive. Having him in a positive mood made my care-giving much easier. We both had something positive to look forward to 3 days a week. Camaraderie surrounded me the minute I walked in the door of The Climb. Our lives were as normal as could be because of the friendships we made and because of special activities and gatherings on holidays. Because of The Climb, I never have felt alone as a caregiver.
Frank and Janna Rhode
Being a volunteer at “The Climb” is an amazing experience. Everyone there works so hard and gives 110 percent. To see them exercise everyday and the support they have for each other is truly a blessing. We feel so fortunate to be a part of this wonderful organization.
Testimony from Harold
I had felt worn out and crappy all day, but I forced myself to attend The CLIMB today. When I arrived I wasn’t sure I would make it through class. But I toughed it out and began to feel better. I got to talk to one friend I have made since I have been attending, and I made a new friend from class out in the parking lot on the way out of the building. I’m slowly learning that good things can happen if I just “show up” for life. Thanks so much for providing The CLIMB for all of us! It, and you, the instructors and the volunteers, have truly been a gift from God to me and, I’m sure, to all others in the class, as well.
Thanks, again, for everything you do for all of us!
Joy is a physical therapist that specializes in working with people with neurological conditions. She began The Climb classes on Saturdays mornings at White River Christian Church in 2011. Joy has a passion for helping people with Parkinson’s disease and raising awareness to the benefits of exercise.
Don was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in March, 2006. “Muscle education and re education is an absolute for controlling symptoms and taking your life back! Only at The Climb can you get that!”
Indiana Parkinson Foundation began as our family’s hope and dream to actively support Dad…and has grown into a source of hope to many others with Parkinson’s. What was meant to show love and support to one has become so much more–love and support to all who walk through the doors. Our humble, grassroots beginning was just the open door that God used to reach many in and beyond the state of Indiana who struggle with this thief we call Parkinson’s Disease. The people we see on a daily basis are holding their heads a little higher, smiling a little bigger, and speaking a little louder because they are not alone, and they have hope. My prayer is that IPF will continue to remain true to its values and ideals, and see more and more people with Parkinson’s Disease not have to travel that road alone. As we wait in expectation for a cure, IPF will continue to serve people with Parkinson’s–mind, body, and soul.
Kevin & Marla Pace
Kevin & Marla serve on the board of IPF. Kevin has had PD for 22 years, had DBS surgery in 2011, and is now medicine free. Marla is also a brain surgery survivor. Together they created an inspirational art business called WordsDoMatter. Marla snaps the photos and Kevin pens the words. Their medical issues and struggles have inspired them to share what “God has entrusted them with” to inspire others. Their artwork can be found on www.WordsDoMatter.com