On Saturday November 14th, residents of South Sarasota County gathered at the Heron Creek Golf and Country Club for the Neuro Challenge Foundation Distinguished Speakers event. In former years, the event was held once annually but has been increased to twice a year, to meet growing demand for the popular speakers and their practical and inspiring messages about life with Parkinson’s disease.
This year, Neuro Challenge presented Neurologist Dean P. Sutherland, MD, PhD, one of Florida’s top experts on Parkinson’s disease. He spoke about different strategies for effective communication in relationships, which can help in dealing with the unique challenges presented by Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Sutherland then gave the floor to Mr. John Bauman, inspirational/motivational speaker, former employment law attorney, and person with Parkinson’s disease. Having lived with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease, for nearly 13 years, Bauman travels around the country to give inspirational talks, essentially road maps and testimonies to living ‘an amazing life with Parkinson’s.’ Attending also was his wife Bernadette, who is, according to his website, his ‘love, chef, workout partner, friend, and sidekick.’
Speaking about the importance of attitude, nutrition, and exercise, Bauman emphasized that although Parkinson’s is not something that people want, the right attitude and approach can transform the experience to create some positive outcomes. In Bauman’s case, a kinder attitude, an overall healthier lifestyle, and deliberate weight loss were some of the outcomes of his attitude towards life with Parkinson’s.
Guests, mainly residents of North Port, Venice, and Englewood also enjoyed a continental breakfast. Executive Director of Neuro Challenge, Judith L. Bell said about the two speakers, “John Bauman has captivated us once again, with his inspiring message. What we want is for all people who have Parkinson’s to live amazing lives and John is a brilliant example of this possibility. Dr. Sutherland always amazes me with his ability to present difficult topics in an understandable and humorous way. What an amazing pair!”
Carisa Campanella, South County Care Advisor was also on hand to present the speakers and greet guests, most of whom attend the different programs in the growing North Port office that she manages. Representatives from Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, TEVA Pharmaceuticals, the Sky Family YMCA, UCB, and AbbVie were also present with information on the many different patient help programs and services available to people with Parkinson’s. View event photos.