An interview with Jacob Kidney from Mission PD on July 1, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
I have had a movement disorder called Essential Tremors since I was 8 years old. Also, my mother has had Essential Tremors and Dystonia for 30 years and my father has had Parkinson’s for almost 30 years. On top of that, there are about 4 other people on my mother’s side of the family who have had some form of a movement disorder. I always felt alone until I found a support group through the International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF). I was inspired by this support group, so I became a support group leader for the IETF. https://essentialtremor.org/.
Can you tell me more about your organization?
Mission PD is an online platform that offers a variety of educational programs led by PD experts, a variety of movement group classes, a book club, support group, and an online community full of resources. These are all free resources for the PD community. Also, we offer one on one coaching that is not free. Mission PD also offers support groups and resources for care givers. Our goal at Mission PD is to inspire people with Parkinson’s to continue to live their best lives despite having PD. https://mission-pd.org.
Millions of people living with PD need better access to care and resources. Mission PD is here to help people day to day find that support as we will be active in the mission bringing changes to reduce Parkinson’s in our future and find a cure.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
I also am a Yoga teacher that specializes in using Vinyasa and Yin Yoga for people with Movement Disorders. This has led me to work for a non-profit organization called the Mission PD Wellness Center where I run our support group, book club and I teach Yoga and Meditation.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?
The book club drew interest from another non-profit organization called The Quiver. Thequiver.org publishes the artwork and books created by people with Parkinson’s but our goal is to promote the use of one’s creative expression and to find peace in your Parkson’s Journey. It is through our creative expression that we can find new pathways forward and find new solutions to problems that we thought were otherwise unsolvable. I am now the Director of Outreach for The Quiver. I give presentations to different support groups about our mission and to promote the use of one’s creativity. https://thequiver.org/.
What type of training and how long are the programs?
PARKINSON’S SPECIFIC FITNESS CLASSES
Brains and balance – sponsored by Insightec
Dance for Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s wellness recovery – sponsored by Supernus
Parte – sponsored by Supernus
Rock steady boxing
Tai chi chih – sponsored by Medtronic
Yoga meditation and mindfulness – sponsored by the Parkinson’s council.
Private exercise training
Duo or trio private in person training
Voice activated – sponsored by the Parkinson’s council.
Pedaling for Parkinson’s
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?
My ultimate goal is to use my experience in the Parkinson’s world and apply it to the Essential Tremors world to offer services as a Social Worker for people with Essential Tremors. Nowadays, there are an abundance of resources and support for people with Parkinson’s but there is very little support for people with Essential Tremors. I plan to change that.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
Through education, fitness, and wellness we engage people with Parkinson’s and help bridge the gap to better care, management and overall outcomes while living with Parkinson’s Disease.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
How can others also become advocates for awareness?
We offer community social networks, educational presentations, and monthly support groups.
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
The key to effective advocacy is connecting with people in the community to build meaningful relationships to learn and grow together.