Parkinson’s support group names new leader

Staff report

LAURINBURG — Following a summer break, monthly meetings of the Parkinson’s Support Group begin again next month.The group will meet the fourth Tuesday of the month from 3 to 4 p.m., beginning on Sept. 22.

Darlene Stewart, will serve as the group’s new facilitator. She replaces Doris Milligan, the group’s original leader, who will be honored for her service at the September meeting.

Milligan began the support group in 2003 when her husband, Jim Milligan, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

She said when she moved to Scotia Village she discovered there was no Parkinson’s support group.

Milligan researched the disease and contacted the hospital about starting a program. With the support of the Scotland Memorial Foundation,Milligan was able to begin meetings of the support group.

Though her husband passed away in 2004, Milligan continued facilitating the group. She said that she wants anyone affected by Parkinson’s disease or any other type of movement disorder to know that help and support is available.

“Even though these movement disorders cannot yet be cured, their symptoms can be treated,” Milligan said. “And the sooner they are diagnosed, the sooner you or your loved one will be able to begin treatment and learn more about how the disease and symptoms can improve over time.”

Stewart said that her husband, Randy Stewart, was diagnosed with Essential Tremors, a type of movement disorder similar to Parkinson’s disease.

With an overwhelming amount of research on the internet, Stewart said the support group was “a Godsend.”

“There was so much to learn from a patient’s and a caregiver’s point of view.”

Stewart said that she was up for the challenge of leading the support group.

“I’m excited for the potential growth of the group,” she said.”I’m surprised at many people in the Laurinburg area are affected by Parkinson or Essential Tremors and aren’t aware of this support group. I am running ideas past Mrs. Milligan of how to increase the awareness in Scotland County.”

For information, contact Darlene Stewart at 910-277-2783.

Staff report

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