Hernando couple calls on families to help find Parkinson’s cure
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Hernando residents Richard Hoffmann, Pharm. D., and his wife, Meg, are asking care partners to join them in helping to find the cure for Parkinson’s disease.
The Hoffmans are also Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) Research Advocates, and say this message is particularly important during November’s National Family Caregivers Month.
Dr. Hoffmann, a pharmacist, took on the role of care partner to his wife Meg after she was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson's in 2008. The couple wanted to make a difference, so together they joined PDF's Parkinson's Advocates in Research program.
The program helped Dr. Hoffmann to secure a role as an advisor to the US Food and Drug Administration. In this role, he helps to evaluate new drugs for Parkinson's and other neurological diseases.
The couple is also changing research by volunteering for clinical trials. They note that trials need not only people with Parkinson's disease, but also healthy controls, in order to test new treatments.
“When our loved ones are first diagnosed, we as care partners may feel helpless, as if there is nothing we can do to fight Parkinson’s disease,” says Dr. Hoffmann.
“But we have an intimate understanding of Parkinson’s disease and a sense of urgency that few others can offer. I encourage my fellow care partners to realize that they too can help change the future for our loved ones.”
As PDF Research Advocates, the couple also educates their community on Parkinson’s research presenting at support group meetings and creating informational library displays.
“I look upon Parkinson’s as our disease, not just my disease. What affects me, does affect him,” says Mrs. Hoffmann. “If you’re serious about finding a cure, you have to get involved. Together we stress that there are so many different ways and opportunities to participate in research.”
For more information on how the Hoffmann family is changing Parkinson’s research and how other care partner teams can join them, visit www.pdf.org/pair or contact PDF at (800) 457-6676 or send an e-mail to: [email protected].