Posted by Kathryn Nielsen

At my last Parkinson’s dance class, Marjie Sokoll, Director of Spirituality and Aging, tapped me lightly on the shoulder. "At the end of class today, would you want to say anything about what the program has meant to you? I know people would love to hear it." I reflexively winced; I’m not naturally inclined to public speaking. I must have winced more visibly than I had intended to, because Marjie immediately clarified, "Of course, you don't have to if you don't want." I did end up saying something at the end of that class but, to be honest, I can't remember what I said. When I speak in public my head rings and I essentially switch to autopilot. The following is, I hope, a more eloquent version of the sentiments that I wanted to share.

First of all, thank you. I have enjoyed every last minute of my time at JF&CS and will miss it immensely when I am back at school. One of my first and most lasting impressions of the Parkinson’s dance class was how incredibly open and welcoming everyone was. Although my position could be more lightheartedly described as ‘temporary, glorified snack-and-drink-girl,’ even on my first day I was treated like any other member of the group. As time went on, I slowly learned people’s names and began to look forward to my Wednesday morning with the program participants and Parkinson’s Family Support Director Nancy Mazonson and her staff.

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