It's a disease known for memory loss as it progresses…Parkinson’s disease.
When someone finds out they have it, it is one thing they will likely never forget.
The Las Cruces Parkinson’s Support Group was kind enough to invite me to their weekly meeting.
Sarah Stegall is in her 50’s. She just found out she has the disease.
"This is all really new for us…I'm pretty much independent. I have some limitations, but I'm still pretty good about doing things."
Edmund Osranger is here in the group's circle of tables.
Years ago, he was a college professor.
Everyone is affected differently by the disease and everyone has one sense they miss most. For Edmund, it's his voice. "Speaking. I made a living speaking. I can still write."
Today at the meeting, local EMT's came to talk to the group.
Cody Haver talked about where to place important medical information if EMT’s like him need to come to their house.
“In an emergency…so on the refrigerator is really a good place to find all the information.”
I talked to Steve Wright who has lived with the disease for about 5 years. He has a calmness about him, and I asked him why.
"I've had a lot of problems with acceptance myself, but I've gone through the actions of accepting…and I guess nobody lives a perfect life."
Jon Roberts is here, too. In the 1970’s, he was at KRWG as a student sports reporter.
He's about 10 years into the disease. He says he’s moving past acceptance and trying to fight Parkinson’s with all the new procedures.
Maybe the most famous person with Parkinson’s, Michael J. Fox, is bringing the disease into the spotlight again, in a new show set to air on NBC this fall.
He plays Mike Henry, a TV news anchor who decides to come back to work.
For every person with the disease, there’s a different stage – a different approach.
But it always touches the heart. I’ll just leave you with what Edmund, the former professor, said when I asked him what one thing he wishes he could say as clearly today as he used to.
"I love my wife. I love Linda."
The voice might tremble, but the heart speaks loud and clear.