18 Jun


We all are very familiar with what Agent Orange did for Vietnam and the soldiers and other people exposed to “herbicides” designed to take down foliage.

Ready for what’s next from Dow Chemicals? GE crops modified to be resistant to the herbicide that’s a main ingredient in Agent Orange!

The herbicide, 2,4-D, is linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and Parkinson’s and is banned entirely in parts of Canada and Europe. And yet the USDA seems ready to approve the new GMO Corn and Soybeans, unleashing a major increase in the use of 2,4-D.

Now, the EPA is considering stepping in to stop or restrict the application of 2,4-D, which would be a major blow to Dow’s Agent Orange veggies. Join me in urging the EPA to reject Dow’s plans to spray this incredibly toxic herbicide.

Submit a comment here:

This is very important, please submit your comment today!



Fundraising for The Future

9 Sep

Back For The Future is a film about the Nike MAG: “the most famous shoes never made” and stars Bill Hader, Christopher Lloyd, Tinker Hatfield, Donald Fullilove and KD.

Based on an original movie prop used in Back to the Future Part II, the 2011 Nike MAG shoes have been entirely rebuilt and perfected.

They feature an electroluminescent outsole, space-age materials and a rechargeable internal battery good for 3,000 hours.  And while they are not recommended for playing sports, these highly limited shoes will very likely command attention wherever they are worn.

A limited amount of the 2011 Nike MAG shoes are being auctioned off on Ebay for 10 days (starting on September 8th, 8:30 PM PT) and funds raised will go to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.

To learn more, go to To bid on the 2011 Nike MAG shoes, go to

A message from Michael J. Fox

The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research is the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s Disease Research, with over $250 Million in research funded to date.

They have one goal:


Looking Down the Barrel: A Deputy Sheriff’s Midlife Memoirs by Richard Secklin

25 Jun

I’m a bit teary eyed as I just finished reading the memoir Parkinson’s Disease Looking Down the Barrel: A Deputy Sheriff’s Midlife Memoirs by Richard Secklin.   This memoir is an extraordinary journey of a man who, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, feels his world and his identity has been destroyed.  Tempted to end his life he turns his back on himself and God and then through a series of events sees the gift of his personal journey through new eyes of Compassion.  Looking Down the Barrel: A Deputy Sheriff’s Midlife Memoirs is a fast paced, amazingly articulated book that I highly recommend to other people with PD and especially the caregivers like my family and myself.  While sharing the emotional ups and downs of his journey, Richard Secklin offers advice, tools and explanations about the diagnosis, symptoms and treatments.  I believe that sometimes we experience things in life that may look like a difficult lesson and certainly something we never would have thought we’d sign up for – but in the end these lessons can be the greatest gifts.  Richard has found that the answer is simple: Love and Compassion.

About Richard Secklin:

Richard Secklin was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; he enlisted in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He is a Cum Laude 2003 national honor graduate from Lubbock Christian University. A past business owner operating a health club in New Mexico, a competitive bodybuilder and National Bodybuilding Champion, and a career law enforcement officer while living in Midland, Texas.  Richard, is now a resident of Milwaukee, has had the success of having his book reach support groups across the country and the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego has placed his book as Book of the Month for two consecutive months.


An Excerpt:

Parkinson’s Disease: Looking Down the Barrel  
by Richard Secklin


I am four years into my diagnosis and living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). My hand is shaking, not because of Parkinson’s but because I’m looking down the barrel of a gun.  My finger is on the trigger. The room is spinning.

My wife had dissolved our 18 year marriage and I blamed the Parkinson’s. My son could no longer handle living with me and had decided to move away too.

I’m about to vomit. My finger twitches.

I was no longer a cop: I had quit my job without notice. They never knew I had tried marijuana to relieve my PD symptoms while working for the department, and the guilt I felt was overwhelming.

I can’t catch my breath.

I will not get into Heaven if I do this. It doesn’t matter.  I hate God.

I am on the precipice of death.


     This is a story of my midlife encounter of getting diagnosed and living with Parkinson’s disease. Like all PD’ers, we struggle through our own physical and/or psychological disasters and triumphs. These are my personal experiences with depression, confusion, the hate for God, and the on-going transition of this diagnosis, including my symptoms, connecting with support groups, attaining proper medical testing and treatment and finally, the survival of living with PD.

I dedicate this book to my youngest son: an unintentional liberator of my idiosyncratic sickness. Unbeknown to him at that moment in time – he saved me from myself.


Most likely you will find yourself sitting in a doctor’s office surrounded by charts and pictures on the walls. These pictures depict the brain and spine. It is a Neurology doctor you’re seeing because of a myriad of symptoms that you have been dealing with.

A nurse comes out and calls a name. It’s not yours. You observe a women stand up but you are confused because a man’s name had been called. The woman turns and helps the man sitting next to her stand up. He has trouble. Once standing, it appears that he intends to start walking to the waiting nurse who patiently holds the door open. His leg starts shaking. His brain is telling his leg to pick up and move but his leg has trouble responding.  He seems to be hesitating.  All of a sudden, as if someone pushed him from behind, he almost runs across the room – but only for a few steps, and then he finally gains control and he slows down. Your fear starts to take hold. You take a deep breath. Your name will be called soon.

Looking Down the Barrel

 I am hysterically crying as I look down the barrel of my Glock 17. I am thinkingmy temple or in my mouth?

I had looked down the barrel of my gun many times before but not like this.  It was never loaded when I cleaned it. This time it was loaded, with a special hollow point bullet authorized for police officers only. I knew my gun would not misfire. I had been a career law enforcement officer, a supervisor, an instructor and a previous SWAT team member. Life could not have been better before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. But, from time to time, life throws something at us.  And every once and awhile it’s something really big.  I was not ready for this.

I am sitting at the edge of my bed sweating. My hand is shaking; my finger twitching- on the trigger. My life flashes before me.

To purchase a copy for yourself or others please visit:
Richard Secklin’s amazon site: Parkinsons Disease Looking Down The Barrel

The MTHFR Gene

5 May

Remember the MTHFR genetic conversation we had several months ago?  September 26th as a matter of fact.  Well, at that time I was balancing on the line between “Do I really want to know if I have a genetic mutation that could possibly cause complications with pregnancy or even miscarriage?” or “Do I really need to know this information right now…?”.

In my research I had found 23andMe, a company that does Genetic testing, which I believe could be quite informative for people in regards to their health and ancestry, yet could also open Pandora’s box of possibly knowing too much.  I considered the pros and cons of knowing, but put it in the back of my mind until recently when the decision was made without any hesitation at my GYN’s office during my annual check up.  She and I got to chatting, as we do since she’s such a wonderful doctor who really cares about her patients as if we are all her sisters, and I mentioned that there’s this whole MTHFR genetic issue with my father that I recently found out about. And without a blink of an eye she said Ok, let’s get some blood drawn and test for it.  Her confidence became mine and I agreed to take the test and then waited about a week and a half for the results.  And the news is that the results came back Negative!

I am relieved to know that I don’t carry this genetic mutation, yet have so much compassion for those of you who have discovered that you do have this genetic issue and have experienced complications or a loss of pregnancy.  My heart goes out to you and I am perplexed by the next step. What can be done?

I found an article written by Dr. Stephen Wells M.D. that sites treatment for those with MTHFR and pregnancy.

What Therapy is available for women with MTHFR Mutations?

Two scenarios that he feels benefit from therapy include the homozygous C677T mutation, and what is termed “compound heterozygote” mutation: heterozygous for both C677T and A1298T.

In these situations he feels administering daily injections of anti-clotting medicines Heparin or Lovenox give the best hope for women with a history recurrent pregnancy loss. The desired effect is to prevent clot formation between the developing placenta and uterine wall. Since the condition seems to affect pregnancies early, it makes sense to begin treatment early and continue well past the first trimester. Less clear is how long to continue treatment.

Additional treatments are daily administration of aspirin in low doses (St. Joseph’s chewable 81mg aspirin or generic). It is also of likely benefit to treat a woman with this condition with extra folic acid during the earliest part of her pregnancy, since the MTHFR condition tends to interfere with folate production. Folate is important in reducing Homocysteine levels, which protects against clot formation. This benefit, however, has been less well studied. Nevertheless Folgard 2.2 by prescription in addition to a prescription strength prenatal vitamin is also recommended.

Again, there is no evidence based standard to guide us. He will typically be more conservative and treat with Lovenox for longer in a woman’s first successfully treated pregnancy, and then may discontinue the treatment somewhat earlier in subsequent pregnancies. Again, this tends to be a first to early second trimester phenomenon.

So, what do you think?

I know there are many of you who are dealing with MTHFR and pregnancy and I would love for you to weigh in and share your experiences and information.

The APDA Beach Brigade 2011 Results Are In

1 May

The American Parkinson Disease Association Los Angeles Chapter Beach Brigade 2011

May 1st, was not only the day I celebrated my birthday but also the annual American Parkinson Disease Association Los Angeles Chapter’s Parkinson’s Beach Brigade walkathon. The Beach Brigade is an event designed to raise funds to help find the cure for Parkinson’s disease.

We spent a lovely spring morning walking with families and friends for two miles along the bluffs of Santa Monica.

The result was that the day raised over $140,000 for APDA and our team: Team Kickin’ It won 5th place by raising over $4,000!

Thank you to everyone who donated and supports this important cause!

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

1 Apr

Parkinson’s Awareness Month

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Celebrate.  Commemorate.  Educate.

From Parkinson’s Action Network:

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced a resolution in the Senate that designates April as the national Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  This action signifies the importance of Parkinson’s disease, and recognizes Congress’ commitment to finding better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.  The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) expects that the resolution will be passed soon by the full Senate.

“As a co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Parkinson’s disease, I am working to find better treatments for this devastating neurological disease.  That is why I am proud to introduce legislation recognizing April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).  “We know so little about neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s but we all know someone who has been impacted by them.  With this resolution, we honor those who live with Parkinson’s and encourage those conducting the medical research that could hold the key to new breakthrough treatments.”

“You can’t go up to more than a handful of people on the street before finding someone with a mother, father, brother, sister, or close friend who’s been touched by Parkinson’s,” said Senator Mark Udall (D-CO).  “This makes our task of increasing awareness of this horrible disease that much more important – there is a continuing need for more robust biomedical research, better treatments, and more community involvement to fight Parkinson’s.  That’s why I am proud to introduce this resolution with my Senate colleagues.”

Below are some tools you can use to help educate your local community about Parkinson’s disease, and encourage local governments to issue their own proclamations supporting our mission to find a cure.

Local Government Proclamations:  We encourage all Parkinson’s advocates across the country to work with their state and local governments to proclaim April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Please contact us to let us know of your successes; we will keep an updated list of state and local proclamationson this Web page.

Template Letter

Sample Proclamation

Letter to the Editor:  Take a moment to encourage your U.S. Senators and Representatives to support Parkinson’s research by submitting a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

Sample Letter to the Editor

Reach out to Local Media:  Email your local TV stations to let them know April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Let them know you are a local resource if they have any questions about Parkinson’s.  Invite them to spend a few hours with you to see what living with Parkinson’s is really like.  Encourage them to attend and cover a local support group meeting or other activity, so they can meet others in the community.

Social Media: Using social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and your personal blog is a great way to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease year-round, not just in April.  Send us links to your blog posts, so we can include them here.

On Twitter, you can use your 140 characters to encourage people to check out the PAN website, write to their Senators and Representatives asking them to support Parkinson’s research, or encourage your followers to learn more about Parkinson’s.

Here’s a PD Tulip image you can use as your Facebook profile photo or Twitter avatar for the month of April, or use in church newsletters, community fliers, and other outreach tools:

(right click to save image)

Parkinson’s Beach Brigade 2011 Fundraiser Walk

23 Mar

My friend Lora is in her third year as captain of Team Kickin’ It. Their team will be walking again this year in the 2011 Parkinson’s Beach Brigade annual fundraising event on May 1st (my birthday!) in Santa Monica, CA.

Last year, Team Kickin’ It raised over $3,600 for research to find a cure for Parkinson’s, this year we would love to beat that number.

Lora is walking on behalf of her dad, Gary, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2004.

I will be joining Lora in fundraising this year in honor of my dad, Joseph, who was diagnosed September 23, 2010.  I’m also walking in honor of my cousin Jackie’s mother in law  Sharon (Grandmom Sharon) and my friends Kim and Dave’s aunt Karen.

Also walking with us will be Lori N. in honor of her aunts Alice and Jan.

Join Team Kickin’ It today!  You can create your own fundraising page, start raising money and get ready to walk on May 1st.   You can register now to be on the team or register day of the event.

If walking along the Santa Monica beach cliffs on a sunny Sunday morning isn’t your thing but you still want to participate, donate to one of our Kickin’ team members.

Join Team Kickin It!

(click on “Join This Team” on right side of page)

My Fundraising Page:

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