Feb 17, 2024 | By: Lakeland News

Parkinson’s Support Group in Bemidji Lets People Know They’re Not Alone

Approximately 500,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but with some individuals going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, experts estimate that as many as 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s.

In Bemidji, the Parkinson’s Support Group meets at Sanford Health WindSong each month. The meetings allow those with Parkinson’s or their family and friends to come and let others know they’re not alone. Members can also talk about their experiences or challenges in living with Parkinson’s.

One of those challenges is that there are no full-time neurologists anywhere close to the Bemidji area.

“One of the challenges we have locally here in Bemidji, there’s been part-time neurologists that come over from Fargo or maybe a part-time person here through Sanford. What we’d really like to see is, you know, a full-time or several full-time neurologists on staff here in Bemidji, Minnesota,” said Parkinson’s Support Group leader Gary Roerick. “A lot of people, including my wife who has Parkinson’s, we drive down to the Cities sometimes every month to do different things, at least twice a year. But it would be great if anybody had control over how we can get some neurologists on staff here over at the Sanford.”

The next meeting for the Parkinson’s Support Group is on March 13 at WindSong, located near the hospital. Parkinson’s Awareness Month is just around the corner in April.

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