Celebrating 7 Years of Connection - PMD Alliance

“I wish you knew I find solace in support group magic.”   
-Dave, Support Group Leader 

This month, we celebrate our birthday—seven years of learning, living fully, and building meaningful connections. When we began in 2015, we knew one thing for sure: community is at the heart of thriving with a movement disorder. This is why we designed our work around an Ecosystem© model: we’re here to empower and interweave every network within our community. Being linked with peers nourishes and provides a comforting space to be yourself around others who “get it.” Feeling connected and empowered to speak up with your doctor and therapists—your entire care team—ensures you get the tailored care you deserve. When we’re all working in sync, we live with more wellbeing, more joy, and more hope.  

This is also why, seven years ago, we started small, but with a mighty program that would grow to become our most connective and nourishing: support group leader trainings. Support groups are the lifeblood of the movement disorders community. Whether you’re living with the disease or loving someone with it, we need community to live our best.

In honor of our 7th birthday, we’ll be gathering this month at ALL IN!™, our national summit for community & support group leaders to inspire each other, brainstorm together, share practical tools & tips, and to awaken meaning & joy. During the pandemic, we lost 30% of support groups. Empowering support group leaders goes beyond empowering the individual; the  positive ripple effects galvanize our entire community. We need to rebuild our network now more than ever.  

When we have robust support groups, people have better access to resources and information about their local care providers—and they often get to connect directly with practitioners through expert talks at their meetings. When we have robust support groups, entire families benefit. Care partners can show up better for themselves and their loved ones. People living with the disease can navigate their journey with deeper understanding and a network of friends.  

As the number of people with Parkinson’s soars, we have our own birthday wish: together, let’s unite to continue raising hope, resources, and the life-giving power of connection.  

Bring our wish to life: give a birthday gift today. Every gift you make during the month of October will be matched by generous donors, doubling your impact. Give now.

In solidarity,

Andrea Merriam

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