An interview with Martha Strubinger on Advocacy, August 23, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
My name is Martha and I come from beautiful Vienna. Besides Wiener Schnitzel and coffee, I love my husband, best friend, and favorite person Thomas, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018. Thomas was 49 years old at the time of diagnosis.
To be able to deal better with this incurable disease as a relative and to support my life person as best as possible, I started writing.
When selling my books, it’s not about profit for me, because I donate most of my income! Much more important to me is the education about the broad topic of Parkinson’s, the addressing of work with relatives (just talk about it…) and about Parkinson’s, in whatever relationship!
Please tell me a little about your background.
A warm hello from Vienna! My name is Martha, and I am a relative of a young man with Parkinson’s disease. To be able to cope better with the disease myself, I started writing and became very involved in the work with relatives of affected persons.
Can you tell me more about your advocacy?
I have already published several books on Parkinson’s disease, I am very active in raising awareness of the disease and I support other people who have.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
I write books together with someone who has Parkinson, seen from the family members point of view. The work with relatives with their very own topics and needs is very close to my heart. With my books, I would also like to give courage to all those affected. Because Parkinson’s simply requires courage – every day.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?
I would like to give courage to others who are affected. Courage to face the new life with a chronically ill partner with all its changing symptoms. Courage to enjoy every day, every hour, and every minute despite or because of this and not to forget yourself as a helping or caring relative!
What impact can it have on a person with a partner who has the disease?
The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease also means a life change for relatives with many changes in everyday life. It is important to create a balance between caring, helping and your own freedom. This is not always easy. That is why the exchange with other relatives is so important. And I hope that my work can help them to regain their strength and hope.
What would you like to see as a goal in the future?
A worldwide network of those affected. More education about Parkinson’s; after all, it is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. And, of course, a possible cure in the near future.
What events do you participate in?
I visit every Parkinson event that is offered during the year. In September, I will attend the PingPongParkinson World Championship in Wels (Upper Austria, Austria) as a supporter.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
Perhaps through our education, we can help care not only for the disease, but for the wonderful person behind it. That would be a wonderful thought.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
Or contact me through Facebook or Instagram.
How can others also become advocates for awareness?
Be loud! Dare! Together we are stronger!
What would you like to pass on to those affected and their relatives with your books?
Be brave because Parkinson’s requires courage! Don’t hide! To deal openly with the disease is “healthier”, this is true for affected persons as well as for relatives.
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
Enjoy the good moments; there are more than enough of them anyway! You just must look closer. If they are not to be discovered immediately, risk calmly a second view. You will see: It’s worth it!