“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
We enter Women’s History Month with pride: we are a majority women-led organization and we are joined in our mission by allies and many women care partners, support group leaders, advanced practice providers, and movement disorder experts. But we also step into this month knowing we have a big responsibility: the voices and experiences of women with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders are underrepresented.
For too long, the face of Parkinson disease has only been shown in medical textbooks as older, White men. We are committed to supporting and empowering men everywhere impacted by a movement disorder. And we know the face of Parkinson’s is far more diverse.
Research has done a disservice to women by excluding them from clinical studies or ignoring their needs. Does Parkinson disease affect fertility? Pregnancy? Menopause? How does a movement disorder diagnosis impact a woman’s family- and work-life balance? Questions like these are not only critical to ensuring women receive the tailored care they need and deserve; questions like these improve care for everyone with the disease.
We’re joining together a chorus of women self-advocates, researchers, healthcare providers and more to amplify women’s experiences, including in our recent wHolistic™ program with Indu Subramanian, MD, and Adrienne Keener, MD, called the Unmet Needs of Women Living with PD. We also joined with our friends at Con P de Parkinson to host a Spanish-language version of the program.
We’ll keep standing up alongside all people impacted by movement disorders, making sure everyone has space at the table and everyone gets the care, support, and sense of community they deserve.
Sarah Jones, MPA, MS Strategic Design
CEO, PMD Alliance