Updated: Thursday, January 16 2014, 01:36 PM EST
When you hear about Parkinsons disease, many of us think of actor
Michael J. Fox. We've seen the tremors and stiffening joints it can
cause, but there are symptoms not always so obvious.
Person of the Week was diagnosed with Parkinsons she took action. Ever
since, she has been improving the lives of people not only locally but
nationally, including at a world congress in Montreal.
When it's time to go work, Linda Morgan goes no farther than her living room.
a pharmacist, but when it got to difficult to work at the pharmacy,
things changed. Beginning with a phone call seven years ago.
Morgan, Person of the Week, "I was given my diagnosis over the phone.
The physician called. It was a good day. It was in the morning. The
kids were at school."
It was Parkinson's disease.
Wes Morgan, husband, "I think all of us had an emotional problem accepting this in the beginning."
didn't take linda long to get past acceptance to taking action, "I
immendiately went from how did it happen to what can I do."
A few weeks ago, she was invited to speak to doctors, researchers, and patients at the World Parkinson Congress in Montreal.
Anthony Elliott, President, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, "it's a
unique opportunity to present who you are and what you do to the world
For Linda, that means advocating for patient
involvement in clinical research, "this seems so 'a, b, c' and so common
sense but see the patient as part of the process"
She's been in a number of studies, founding and taking part in her first one only a month after she was diagnosed.
In Asheville, she began a support group for people with Parkinsons, all with a lot of questions and not enough answers.
Dealing with symptoms other than tremors, some that cannot always be seen, including depression.
For Dudley Culp, it was almost unbearable, "I mean I was suicidal. That's not who I am."
Bob Bryenton, Parkinson's patient, "I'm hanging out at home a lot. You know I'd rather go out but I didn't want to go out."
Just two members of a larger group that draws strength from each other.
She's someone who could have withdrawn or given up, but instead Linda Morgan is giving hope.
of Linda's primary goals is to shorten the process of research and
clinical trials which can sometimes take 10 years or more.
To learn more about Parkinson's, it's symptoms, the research, click here.