The Shaky Times
-- Online Edition --
May 2019
Here's what's below:
May General Meeting Speakers

May Tri-Valley Meeting Speaker

PNMD Poker for Parkinson's Tournament 2019

Parkinson's Moving Day

PNMD's Men's Group

Reclaiming Your Life


Information and Resources Library

Exercise and Activity Classes

Meetings, Announcements, and How to Contact Us
May General Meeting Speakers

Saturday, May 18, 2019 - General Meeting

Presentation:  Physical Therapy in Parkinson's Disease
Speakers: Brianna Munson DPT

The presentation will VERY briefly cover the pathophysiology of PD and then dive into the research focusing on what interventions are most effective (and least) at improving Parkinson's symptoms. The main lens will be from a physical therapy and exercise perspective. The different components of balance will also be discussed, including how to improve balance to decrease fall risk.

Brianna Munson graduated from UCSF with her doctorate in Physical Therapy and has been working part-time at Lafayette Physical Therapy and with her own private clients doing home visits. She specializes in helping those with neurological diagnoses, gait, and balance impairments and spends most of her time working individuals with Parkinson's.
May Tri-Valley Meeting Speaker

Saturday, May 11, 2019, 10 am- Pleasanton Senior Center

Presentation:   Lessons from a PD Caregiver Outreach Series
Speaker: Aaron Daly, MA, UCSF

The talk will focus on the process of creating 6 presentations on issues important to PD caregivers, and our experience presenting them to multiple support groups in the Bay Area. I will focus on aspects of each topic that were discussed in the presentations, salient questions that were raised during the series, the future of the program, and I can also answer questions from the audience.                   
PNMD Poker for Parkinson's Tournament 2019
Mother's Day
Parkinson's Moving Day
Moving Day San Francisco
Embarcadero Plaza
May 5, 2019
Registration Opens: 9:00AM
Walk Start time: 10:30 a.m
Contact: Gena Lennon
Moving Day San Jose
Evergreen Valley College
Saturday June 1, 2019
Registration Opens: 8:00AM
Walk Start time: 10:00 a.m.
Contact: Gena Lennon
Moving Day is more than just a walk… it’s about supporting your Parkinson’s community, sharing your story, honoring your loved ones and encouraging others to help us beat Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Moving Day is more than just a walk… Your participation will make a real impact on people with Parkinson’s in your community. Every dollar raised by Moving Day participants supports the Parkinson’s Foundation mission by:

  • Delivering quality care to more than 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s
  • Funding cutting-edge research to improve treatments and advance toward a cure
  • Providing free resources for people living with Parkinson’s and their families
PNMD Men's Group
We typically have 25-35 MWP for our 75-minute gathering each third Saturday. I like to think of our attendees as PNMD’s customers. In an effort to ensure that we discuss topics of customer interest, I provide a list of 6-8 topics that surfaced in earlier meetings and ask each attendee to pick three topics for discussion. We start with the topic with the most votes.

Newcomers are asked to tell the group how long they have had PD, how they are dealing with it and what they would like to learn. Our group represents about 120 years dealing with PD- a valuable resource. We would like the newcomer to feel that they are being heard and we have genuine interest in helping where we can.

Some topics are easier to discuss than others. The “safe topics” include driving, constipation, marijuana, DBS experience, falling, sleep, voice issues, medications, tremor, balance, the value of our meetings, exercise etc.

It is hard for most men to talk about their feelings. Topics such as depression, apathy, anger, how PD has changed us, fear of the future, hallucinations, frustration, withdrawal, cognitive decline etc. are more difficult. We had 39 members in attendance at our February 16 meeting. This was a new record for us. Our organization is run mostly by PWP who face the decline that comes with PD so there is always need for fresh blood. Helping others is good for the soul. Would you consider using your talents to help PNMD?

Derek L Ransley, MWP Facilitator
Reclaiming Your Life
Michael J. Fox made a very interesting statement in his latest NY Times interview. He said “I’d developed a relationship with Parkinson’s where I gave the disease its room to do what it needed to do and it left me areas I could still flourish in.”

Being diagnosed with PD feels like being hit by a bus. It takes some time to reinvent your idea about what life looks like now and what it is going to look like in the future. Plans of climbing Kilimanjaro or becoming a concert pianist or even working as long as you had planned find themselves being reevaluated. Anger, denial, frustration and depression may ensue. (Let’s call them the 4 tenors!) Sharing the rest of your life with PD is not exactly what you had in mind.

Some people go through the experience with the 4 tenors and then settle into a life of some degree of depression and resolve that life is pretty much a bummer from here on out. Some people get past the anger, denial, frustration and depression and successfully create a picture of what life will look like now. That is not to say that the 4 tenors do not from time to time rear their ugly heads. This group of PDers also finds ways to engage themselves in things that have not been part of their life habits or interests until now – not without some challenge and difficulty, mind you – but they often encounter parts of themselves and talents and interests that they had no idea were a part of them. They often find great joy and amazement at what has been dormant and/or buried inside of them.

The part of the brain that is affected by PD is different from the part that allows you to dance, do art, play an instrument or do many other creative things. Even though it may take “longer” to do things (and, by the way, that happens to all of us as we age), there are still so many wonderful ways to be involved with yourself and with others in mindful and even “adventurous” ways.

It’s the NEW YOU – like it or not. Who you USED TO BE doesn’t matter? How we can be present with ourselves, with others and with what we are involved with in every moment is what matters most. Make the most of everything that is available to YOU!!!

Hafiz wrote: I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.

Carol Fisher
Registered Yoga Instructor and Certified PWR Instructor
Sally DeMaria

David and Sara De Zerega

Mary Anna Jansen in memory of Martin Jansen

Carol Fisher in honor of Art and Betsy Fowler
Library and Information Resources
To Members and Friends:

This month's speaker at the General Meeting will be addressing the benefits of Physical Therapy in Parkinson's Disease. Physical Therapy complements aerobic exercise and puts emphasis on achieving better motor patterns, improving balance and retaining or increasing flexibility. The needs and the limitations of patients are evaluated by the physical therapist and exercises appropriately chosen to help maintain good range of motion and improve flexibility. Some therapists are trained in BIG therapy to encourage the use of greater amplitude in normal movements. This requires thinking about the size of each movement as it is done. Muscle strength is important and maintenance of it is helpful in preventing missteps when walking. Tai Chi classes also help maintain balance, flexibility and smoothness of movement. All of these interventions can help prevent falls, one of the symptoms of PD that does not respond to medication and that sooner or later will be an issue for all aging people with or without PD. Kaiser has an excellent PT program and there are many very good private groups in the community such as Lafayette Physical Therapy where the speaker, Brianna Munson PT, DPT, practices. A physician referral may be required. Literature about these issues will be available on the Library table.

The Library opens at 10:15 a.m. Books are available for lending. These are marked by a red dot on the cover. The dot means that the books must be signed out on the sheet on a clipboard on the table. Please return the books at the next meeting so others can read them also. Linda Madden and/or I will be there to assist you if needed. There will be handouts about various subjects relating to PD. Brochures, pamphlets, and other cards and sheets of information regarding community and national resources are free and there for you to take. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Library, please let us know

Janice Ransley, M.D. Library Chair
Tremble Clefs
Has your voice gone soft?
Do you wish people could hear you better?
You CAN do something about it –
                        S I N G!
The Tremble Clefs sing every week!
You can too!
No experience necessary
We meet every Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30
At the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church

PD Exercise Activity Classes


Boot Camp
Monday, 9:30-10:45 AM, Petra Fibrichova, 510-520-4523
Thursday, 9:30-10:45 AM, Jodi Barry, 415-328-4123
Dance Moves Me
Tuesday, 1:00-2:30 PM, Debbie Sternback, 510-653-8362
Rock Steady Boxing
8 classes/week-call for times, Jimmy Greninger, 925-785-1272
Tremble Clefs
Thursday, 1:30-3:30 PM, Michael Grupp, 925-451-3389
Boot Camp
Mon., Wed.,Fri., 10:00-11:15 AM, Anu Ramaswamy, 925-922-0589

Please contact activity instructor for further details and fees.
Announcements, Meetings and How to Reach Us

Questions? Contact Amy Van Voorhis at

Is There Treasure In Your Driveway?

You can stop paying insurance and registration—and get a tax deduction.
Donate your car, truck or boat to PNMD . Just call: 877-999-8322

Important: Be sure to tell the operator that you wish to donate your car to Parkinson Network of Mount Diablo. Or just use this link for our dedicated online donation form:
If you have any questions, call the vehicle donation program at 877-999 8322.
Or contact Abraham Raja at
     General Meeting Information:

Board Meeting:
First Monday of each month, 10:15 a.m.. Hillside Covenant Church, 2060 Magnolia Way, Walnut Creek. Open to all members.

General Support Group Meeting:
The Parkinson Network of Mt. Diablo Support Group meets on the third Saturday of every month, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. All are welcome and there is no charge. No RSVP’s needed.

Here is the agenda:

9:00 to 10:15 a.m. – Three concurrent Support Group meetings:

Men with Parkinson’s Disease Only: For men newly diagnosed or who’ve had PD for years: time to share, laugh, and learn from each other. Meeting location is the Fireside Room at Grace Church. Contact person is Derek Ransley, (925) 944-0162.

Women with Parkinson’s Disease Only: For women newly diagnosed or who’ve had PD for years: time to share, laugh, and learn from each other. Meeting location is the Library at Grace Church. Contact person is Rosemary Way, (925) 939-7665.

Caregivers Only: Caregivers discuss issues relating to their roles. Meeting location is the Sanctuary at Grace Church. Contact person is Jan Alioto, (925) 890-8937.

10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.-Assemble in Oak Room . The PNMD Library, with books, flyers, videos, etc. is open at this time. Bill Clinch, Moderator, will introduce new members and make announcements.

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Oak Room) Guest speaker (See information above)

11:45 a.m. to noon Q&A, Wrap up.

General questions may be directed to Abraham Raja at (925) 939-4210 ; Lance Gershen, Program Chair (925) 932-1028.

Tri-Valley (Pleasanton) Support Group Meeting:
Meets second Saturday of the month, year-round, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Pleasanton Senior Center, 5353 Sunol Blvd., Pleasanton. This is a support group and learning session that is open to all who want to learn about PD. Facilitators are Norman & Jackie Bardsley, (925) 831-9940.

Contact Us

Web site: 
General Information Phone No.: (925) 939-4210
Co-Presidents: Abraham Raja (925) 381-0688 or
Lance Gershen (925) 932-1028 or
Secretary: Janice Ransley (925) 944-0162 or
Publicity: Beth Donegan (949) 680-9133 or
Treasurer: Amy Van Voorhis (925) 932-5036 or
Membership: Mitchell Morrison (781) 964-2345 or
Health and Wellness Program: Cathy Hostetler (925) 932-5285
Volunteer Coordinator: Cathy Hostetler (925) 932-5285 or
Information Technology: Sara Allen (925) 296-0221 or
Librarian: Janice Ransley (925) 944-0162 or
Program Chair: Lance Gershen (925) 932-1028 or
Fundraising Chair: Ken Kuhn (925) 588-9837 or
Tremble Clefs: Michael Grupp (925) 451-3389
Caregiver Discussion Group: Jan Alioto (925)890-8937 or
Women's Discussion Group: Rosemary Way (925) 939-7665,
Men's Discussion Group: Derek Ransley (925) 944-0162 or
DBS: Gary Hevener (925) 937-4335 or
Donations and Memorials: Please mail to P.O. Box 3127, Walnut Creek, CA 94598.
Newsletter Editor: TBD - Please email submissions by the 15th to: Abraham Raja at
Disclaimer: This newsletter is published to increase awareness of problems related to Parkinson’s Disease. Neither PNMD nor its members make any warranty or assume any responsibility as to the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information presented. The editor’s opinions are strictly his own.