Living With Parkinson's Disease

The numbers are staggering. More than one million Americans are living with Parkinson's Disease, with 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Next month, two Tallahassee men will travel to Washington, DC with this message: “we're here, we need help, and we cannot be overlooked any longer.”

We're eavesdropping on a program called Voice Therapy. It's used to help people with Parkinson's Disease strengthen their voice, which can otherwise be reduced to a whisper.

Soon, Tallahassee's Randy McCoy and Bruce Middlebrooks will be taking their voices to Capital Hill to speak at a forum led by the Parkinson's Action Network.

Monica Hubman of THH Parkinson's Center, says, “It's a national organization that promotes awareness, lobbies and works for funding to increase research.”

It started with a tremor. McCoy, who's battled the disease for 14 years, says he will push for the funding of stem cell research, a responsibility he considers to be is a great honor.

Randy says, “Here's this opportunity to attend a forum and sit across from lawmakers and explain our plight and our cause and the necessity for these funds.”

It’s a necessity because there is no cure. In fact, it is not even known what causes Parkinson's Disease, but one thing Bruce Middlebrooks does know is he has a chance to make a difference.

Bruce says, “I feel that I have this disease for a reason. My mind says I'm supposed to be doing something, and this came along at the right place and right time, and we're gonna’ go and say whatever will be effective and we'll see what happens from there.”

Bruce and Randy's February trip to DC will be paid for by a scholarship they were awarded through the forum.