One in six Americans is affected by a brain disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease, migraine, autism, MS, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, ALS, stroke, and so many more. In total, there are more than 250 different disorders of the brain, many that I have never heard of, many that have no current medical trials researching their cure. In an effort to raise awareness for brain disorders and to raise valuable funds for more brain research, the American Academy of Neurology is hosting their second film festival which communicates the life stories of those suffering from many of these complex brain disorders. The winner of this year’s film festival will receive $1,500 and be honored at the largest gathering of neurologist at their annual meeting in Hawaii later this year.
There are 89 unique videos that have been submitted in the 2011 Neuro Film Festival. These films are personal and touching and moving beyond words. I sat and wept for those with brain disorders that I have never heard of. In my little world, I just never knew there were so many disorders affecting so many people, and all connected to the brain.
Every film is touching. There are things to praise about the bravery of the individuals who have submitted their story. I wanted to vote for each and everyone as if to send a message that these people are important to me – and that I believe in raising funding to help solve the mysteries surrounding their complex diseases.
I literally thanked God out loud when I saw Patty’s film and the brain scan which had no sign of bleeding in her brain for a disorder I have never heard of.
Tears streamed down my cheeks when I saw the incredible animation works of Mike Williams, an artist and animator who has at the age of 38 received two masters degrees and taught others in his field of art and animation. Mike is living with a brain disorder that currently has no medical trials to find its cure and the average length of the disease is about the years. Mike was diagnosed at 28 – do the math! And his disease is so rare that no one is researching the cure.
When I watched the Bryne children and listened to the soft voice of their mother explaining the brain disorders that both of her children have, I realized that there is nothing more important than helping to fund disorders of the brain in children, especially when we do not even know why these disorders occur and they have names that I cannot even pronounce.
I was over the moon with joy when I saw the doctor in There is Always Tomorrow, who has regained his life and medical career after two years of unexplained eplipesy. This gentleman will no doubt have the best bedside manner when caring for his patients, because by a twist of fate he began to have seizures shortly after graduating from medical school.
One of my favorite people and someone that I look up to so much has a video in the contest – I Just Wanna Dance, written by Author Kay Mixon Jenkins tells the story of Kay regaining her independence after being diagnosed with early-onset PD at the young age of 38. Fourteen years into her disease, Kay decided to have Deep Brain Stimulation in order to stop the involuntary movements that her body experienced non-stop. Kay has now undergone her second Deep Brain Stimulation on the second side of her brain, and today she is doing well. Kay is one of the most talented and dedicated individuals in the fight for a cure. Her book Who Is Pee Dee is a heartfelt and informative book written to explain Parkinson’s Disease to children, in a language that they can understand. One day, I look forward to the book that Kay will publish when Parkinson’s disease is no longer a factor in the lives of so many.
Please take a few minutes to visit the Neuro Film Festival website and place your vote for one of these brave individuals who care enough to share their personal stories about their brain disease. They do this in order to raise awareness and funding to try to cure the many diseases that mystify researchers across the world. I wish I could place a vote for every person – and in my heart I have.
I believe with all of my heart that the work being done by the Michael J. Fox Foundation will lead to a cure for Parkinson’s disease and in doing so it will open the doors to help to cure other brain diseases. I still remember the words of one of the first neurologist that Geoffrey and I visited – Emanuel said “if you had to choose a disease of the brain, Parkinson’s disease would be the one”. I think she believes PD may be the first brain disease to be cured too – and I tend to agree. Every step that we take in our Mt. Kilimanjaro quest is to help fund the cure for PD and for every other brain disease. From my mouth to God’s ear!
Voting continues until March 8, 2011. I hope you will visit the sight and place your vote for one of the films. Be prepared with your box of kleenex. Vote for your choice at the Neuro Film Festival by clicking on this link. pkp
Vote for Your Choice of Videos – 2011Neuro Film Festival
Winner will Win up to $1,000 and Attend 2011 Neuro Film Festival in Hawaii
ST. PAUL, Minn.– People who have loved ones affected by a brain disorder or have been affected by a disorder themselves were encouraged to share their story by submitting a short video to the 2011 Neuro Film FestivalSM competition at http://www.neurofilmfestival.com. The second annual contest, presented by the American Academy of Neurology, aims to raise awareness through video about the need to raise more money for research into the prevention, treatment and cure of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, autism, Parkinson’s disease, Hunington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
The deadline for video submissions was February 15, 2011, and there are videos that will educate you and reinforce the issues of those who suffer with a miriad of brain disorders. This is a wake up call that much more research needs to be done and many more dollars need to be raised to learn how to stop these diseases.
Winners of the 2011 Neuro Film Festival could win up to $1,000 and a chance to attend the Neuro Film Festival in Hawaii on April 10, 2011, in conjunction with the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd Annual Meeting, which is the world’s largest meeting of neurologists.
Last year’s event was the first of its kind for the American Academy of Neurology Foundation. “The 2010 Neuro Film Festival exceeded our expectations with more than 65 videos accepted into the contest,” said Christine E. Phelps, Deputy Executive Director of the American Academy of Neurology Foundation. “Because of the compelling and heartfelt stories submitted to the Neuro Film Festival, we’re able to raise awareness about the need to donate to the American Academy of Neurology Foundation to support research, which may ultimately lead to treatments or cures for hundreds of devastating brain disorders.”
Each film submitted in the 2011 contest includes the phrase, “Let’s put our brains together to support brain research. Visit www.neurofilmfestival.com.”
The Neuro Film Festival is sponsored by PSAV® Presentation Services.
About the American Academy of Neurology Foundation:
The American Academy of Neurology Foundation (AAN Foundation) raises money to support vital research into the prevention, treatment and cure of brain disorders. The AAN Foundation is committed to improving patient care, quality of life and public understanding of the brain and other neurologic disorders. The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, restless legs syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, narcolepsy, and stroke. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology and the AAN Foundation, visit http://www.aan.com.