Along with being a mother, grandmother, Sunday school teacher and lifelong swim coach, Meg Moore is a woman living with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement as certain nerve cells in the brain gradually break down or die. Many believe Parkinson’s disease is a death sentence, but if treated, the disease is manageable for those who have been diagnosed. With treatment and therapy from her medical team, Moore explains how the experience has humbled her.
“When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, my immediate thought was my family. I wanted to be able to be with my grandchildren. I wanted them to know me,” says Moore. “I explained this to my neurologist and with treatment, I have found I can continue living and being a grandmother, mother, teacher and coach.”
There are a lot of productive years of life ahead of a person diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Aremmia Tanious, M.D., Neurologist at Jefferson Medical Associates, explains the symptoms and how treatment can manage those. “The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are not always noticeable, but some of the most visible are tremors, stiffness and speech changes. Parkinson’s disease can be very painful and disabling for patients before treatment. Once a patient receives treatment, there is a major difference in their quality of life. They are able to return to work with less difficulties, enjoy life and participate in family activities.”
Mrs. Moore states, “I consider Parkinson’s my gift that the Lord gave me because it gives me the opportunity to reach out and share His love with other people who are in the same spot that I am in.” She is humbled by this experience and thankful for that.
While researching her disease, Mrs. Moore found a therapy treatment program called PWR! Moves, which stands for Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery. The program is based around movement which assists people diagnosed with Parkinson’s because mobility is one of the senses that is lost. Simple, daily tasks such as being able to get in and out of a car or being able to walk is very difficult. The PWR! Moves program teaches Parkinson’s disease patients how to regain control and become more functional.
PWR! Moves was being developed in Tucson, Arizona when Mrs. Moore discussed it with her team of therapists at South Central Regional Medical Center’s Rehabilitation and Wellness Complex. Kourtney Murphy, DPT at the facility, received her certification to instruct the PWR! Moves program to patients locally.
Murphy explains, “South Central Regional Medical Center is the first in the state of Mississippi to establish a PWR! Moves program to assist those with Parkinson’s disease. Through this program, we will help patients with improving their ambulation and by decreasing their risk of falls. The patients will be able to get out and do more functional and social activities in the community.”
Together, Mrs. Moore and the rehabilitation team created a support group for those with Parkinson’s disease to engage themselves in the PWR! Moves. This support group is an educational and active group that will learn more about Parkinson’s and work with Murphy to complete the exercises of the PWR! Moves curriculum.
“This group is very important because every person who has Parkinson’s feels as if they are alone in their journey. Some may feel embarrassed or feel like a victim, but together we can encourage each other and progress as a group,” states Mrs. Moore.
PWR! Moves is offered at the South Central Rehabilitation and Wellness Complex, located at 23 Mason Street in Laurel, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 a.m. No physician referral is required. To participate in the program, please call 601-399-0530. South Central Regional Medical Center encourages those who would like to learn more about Parkinson’s disease or the PWR! Moves, to visit scrmc.com.