Local Parkinson’s disease support group to screen documentary

Local support group to meet at Hoquiam Timberland Library

The Grays Harbor Parkinson’s Support Group invites the public to attend a screening of “Present Moment,” an eight-minute film that shares a perspective on the chronic illness and the impact it has on an entire family.

The showing takes place Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Hoquiam Timberland Library, 420 7th St., in the downstairs meeting room.

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that results from loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. It has four main symptoms: tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and impaired balance and coordination. As the symptoms progress, patients may increasingly struggle to walk, talk, carry on a normal life and take care of themselves. Parkinson’s usually strikes after individuals reach the age of 60, occurring subtly and gradually. It progresses at different speeds in different people.

In 2012, Hoquiam resident Bob Martin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but the closest support group was in Olympia. So he and his wife decided to create a local group in Hoquiam. The Grays Harbor Parkinson’s Support Group has been meeting monthly on the last Tuesday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Hoquiam library.

Guest speakers, exercise and group discussion are all on the agenda. The support group meets for dinner and social time at a local Hoquiam restaurant prior to the gathering at the library. There are 30 members who attend each meeting, but there is always room for more.

The Jan. 31 event is sponsored by Hoquiam Timberland Library and the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation. NWPF’s mission is to establish an optimal quality of life for the Northwest Parkinson’s community through awareness, education, advocacy and care. The NWPF team will be on hand at this meeting to answer questions and to share information about Parkinson’s. For more information about NWPF, please visit www.nwpf.org.

Aimie Vallat, the film’s creator, will be attending the screening as well. Vallat owns Reel Witness Productions in Seattle with Noah Dassel, which focuses on advocacy filmmaking. Their award-winning documentary film, “Present Moment,” has played on PBS affiliate KCTS9 and screened at 23 film festivals around the world.

Call (360) 533-5968 for more information.