Tonight I find myself wide awake in the middle of the night, once again. Later this morning I go in for my second level dosing of the drug I am receiving in a clinical trial for my Early Onset Parkinsons Disease (I am 51). Monday I was given 10mgs; today will be 15. Monday's dose only did about 80% of the job of bringing me to an "ON" state within the 15 minutes allotted, so up in dose I go. They call it "titrating." Unfortunately, each new dose level requires me to be off my meds so they can test the effectiveness. As you know by now, my brain which is controlled by Parkinsons medications has long since lost the ability to cross over from conscious to unconscious without them.....so I sit in the dark, in peaceful serenity while the world around me sleeps. The only sound is a soft rain rhythmically falling outside the window. And I count the hours until daylight knowing its going to be another long day tomorrow.
This night, however, I am pleasantly surprised when a friend, Amanda, joins me. Amanda lives in Ohio and we met through a online hobby site we frequent. She's awake with me and we are chatting at 1:45am Eastern time. We stumbled on the topic of The Giving Keys and I find out that she has one. She gives me hers. Engraved on it is the word "HOPE". I cannot believe it. Her timing is impeccable.
The Giving Keys is a "pay-it-forward" company that does beautiful work in the Los Angeles area. Their mission is to empower those transitioning out of homelessness. On their website they implore you to: "EMBRACE YOUR WORD (ON THE KEY), THEN PAY IT FORWARD TO A PERSON YOU FEEL NEEDS THE MESSAGE MORE THAN YOU. WRITE US THE STORY OF WHY YOU GAVE IT AWAY AT WWW.THEGIVINGKEYS.COM".
So begins the story of my Giving Key, passed to me from Amanda..... a picture of it I posted below.
The Giving Keys are brass and come in colors of gold, silver, and copper. They also have more expensive precious metal versions. You can choose a necklace, bracelet, earrings, or charms. You can layer them. They engrave the word BELIEVE, BRAVE, BREATHE, COURAGE, CREATE, DREAM, FAITH, FEARLESS, HOPE, INSPIRE, LET GO, LOVE, OR STRENGTH - your choice on each piece. You can also customize your own, which I will do when I order mine online. It will say "BEAT PD". You get up to 8 letters/spaces. I will will wear mine lovingly and will be sure to, in time, pass it on to another PD traveler I meet on my journey who is going through the same thing as me and who needs encouragement, hope, and love.
I encourage you to go to The Giving Keys and buy one or more today. They make beautiful gifts for you and your loved ones. And you will help support those that need us most.
Thank you so much Amanda. I will never forget tonight. It is with love and a continuous HOPE for the Cure that I wish all of you.....
See my story online at The Giving Keys website: www.thegivingkeys.com/blogs/news/hope-for-the-cure. I am so proud to support their efforts. Please keep them in mind for your gift giving. You will never forget the experience. Thank you.
Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve
"Lisa Chalker is One Face of Early Onset Parkinson's Disease. Come along on her journey from symptoms to diagnosis; through treatments and therapies. There are highs and lows, miracles and heart notes, and the determination to never, ever, ever, ever give up on the power of HOPE."