An interview with Melissa Marcie-Hrbcek on advocacy and PMD Alliance Ambassador on October 2, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Please tell me a little about your background.
I am a PMD Alliance ambassador which means I’m their Michigan connection for Parkinsons. I’m a support group Facilitator for Michigan Parkinsons Foundation. Also, I volunteer with the Gray Strong Foundation
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
To be honest it was about 3 years into my dx of Parkinsons because I was in denial for way too long. I highly don’t recommend that.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?
Group Facilitator & friend I will always do my best to educate, find resources and simply mentor.
What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s?
So much positivity as I’m an optimistic, compassionate individual naturally. That is on top of experience.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?
Process of being programmed with my DBS but I’m going to get certified through ACE so I can provide overall physical and mental health wellbeing as we continue towards a cure.
What events do you participate in?
With Parkinsons it’s a summit, 5ks, and webinars. Wherever I’m needed to help.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
I can be found on MICHIGAN PARKINSONS FOUNDATION GROUP FACILITATOR and soon their mentorship program. Also, I had dozens reach out on the TIKTOK platform.
How can others also become advocates for awareness?
Just by taking that first step in wanting to Help someone.
In your opinion what is the key to effective advocacy?
Understanding and compassion.
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
I’m determined to make the rest of my years the best of my years. One day at a time.