The Opening Ceremony of the World Parkinson Congress was held last night. I sang in the WPC Chorus, and no, we did not sing “I’m All Shook Up’ or “I Feel the Earth Move” or “Shake, Rattle, and Roll’. Instead, we sang “Song for the WPC” — not the world’s best song, but then we weren’t the world’s best singers.
I was jazzed that the video I had been rooting for to win the WPC Video contest….WON IT! Congratulations to Lori Campbell and her video, “Victory”. The whole audience (over 4000!) was singing along to “the victory song” over PD. Congratulations also to Rafi Eldor who won the People’s Choice Award for “Dance thru Life”, his video on ballroom dancing — a great inspiration for me as I stumble through my dance lessons.
The highlight of the ceremony was a speech by Maryum “May May” Ali. Yes that Ali, Ms. Ali’s father, Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) died this year from Parkinson’s disease complications. He had had PD for some 30 years. Most of us remember when he lit the torch for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, tremoring up the steps in late-stage PD, but still the Champ. I was thrilled to hear from his daughter’s speech that Muhammad Ali loved to perform magic tricks and kept performing them even after tremoring hands made sleight of hand impossible to disguise. I told Ms. Ali that my blog on PD was called “The Magic Trick”. (Disclosure: the blog has nothing to do with magic tricks: As I wrote on my blog purpose page, when I woke up one morning, my right hand was tremoring as if by magic.)