Carey Durham

Member for

6 years 11 months

Carey Durham Family

One of the two most important things anyone has ever told me came from my neurologist, when he said, “this is not your dad’s Parkinson’s.” My father’s Parkinson’s disease (PD) was difficult for him and the entire family. When I heard my diagnosis I could’ve gone south real fast, emotionally, but I didn’t. I was diagnosed with PD on Valentine’s Day of 2013. My husband, David, and I imbibed more that night than we originally planned, getting lost in conversation about how we were going to get through this.

I made the mistake of Googling Parkinson’s. The millions of results all seemed so negative. I had a difficult time reading about it at first and over time I taught myself how to carefully pick and choose articles. My husband started researching Parkinson’s for my benefit. Which leads me to the second most important thing anyone has ever told me, “We’ve got to get you moving,” David said.

Once he read that exercise can improve gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, grip strength and motor coordination on we were convinced. I came up with a fitness plan and became committed to taking care of my body. At the time I was a teacher for children with special needs, many of them non-ambulatory. While I loved my job, it was physically demanding. I retired because I didn’t want any new PD symptoms to interfere with the care of my students.

For five years I drove past a gym on my 45-minute commute to school and one day I finally went in. I began riding my bike and noticed that when I did, my tremor improved. I joined a yoga studio. With hard work I ended up losing a significant amount of weight and became an advocate for moving!

My “PD and exercise” searches always led me to Moving Day. When Moving Day DFW launched, I immediately started my own team and began educating people about PD. I just want to help other people in my PD community, myself included! I wanted to become a PD advocate and Moving Day became my vehicle. Through the fundraising process, I’ve discovered that I have a competitive streak. I find myself following up with all my friends who have not yet committed to going. I want to see everyone I know show up and move with me. If they don’t show, that’s okay, but I want either their prayers or their money (to benefit the Parkinson’s community, of course).

Moving Day has shown me how wonderful my friends and family are. I put a link to my Moving Day DFW team page on Facebook and with their donations I quickly became a top fundraiser! I’m incredibly blessed to have so much support.

Then 2020 came, it was a roller coaster ride! When we first started discussing our fundraising strategies for our Moving Day team, we agreed that matching funds raised the last few years might be close to impossible. We had heard that other areas of the country were having a hard time, so we knew we needed to come up with something new and unique — we decided to host a “Fish Fry and Barn Dance.” But then COVID-19 started wreaking havoc in our daily lives.

Carey Durham Fish Fry

We had just squelched the idea of the fish fry when God woke me one morning and said “You can do this. Use your land and have a drive by fish fry.” That’s all we needed! We made one call and our wonderful fishing teams were on board. After a few more calls we had the paper products, slaw, beans, cookies, french fries and sign donated. We were off and running. I never once doubted God!

The “Drive By Fish Fry” for the Parkinson’s Foundation was a HUGE SUCCESS! It took God, positive attitudes, hard work, willingness and the generous hearts of a lot of family, friends (old and new) and complete strangers. And for all of those behind the scenes who made this such a success, you have my eternal gratitude.

In addition to the fish fry we have had tremendous support from donations coming in via the Moving Day DFW site, Facebook donations, cash donations and a T-shirt sale at my yoga studio, Indra’s Grace. It has all been awe inspiring! Because of those who donated money, time, food, supplies, we not only met our goal to raise $10,000 to help people with Parkinson’s, but we surpassed it!

It’s been eight years since I’ve been living with PD. Exercising helps with my symptoms. Surprisingly, my tremor gets really bad when I am doing what I love, which is singing in my church choir, but I just tell people it’s the holy spirit moving me.

Find a Moving Day event near you and start your own team today!



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