Podcast Episode 44: Talking to Children About Parkinson's

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Receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, especially when it occurs at an early age, can be seen as disrupting an entire life plan. But it doesn’t have to. Soania Mathur, MD, CCFP, a family physician in Toronto, Canada, was diagnosed with young onset PD at age 27, just when she was starting her own medical career, as well as starting a family. She has developed some views on raising children when a parent or other family member has PD. In this second episode of our two-part Holiday Series: Families and Parkinson’s, she offers advice about how to talk to children about the disease, where to turn for resources, and even how having a parent, grandparent, or other relative with a chronic disease can have positive aspects for a child.

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About This Episode

Released: December 18, 2018

Soania Mathur, MD, CCFP

Dr. Soania Mathur is a family physician living outside of Toronto, Canada who had to resign her practice as a result of her Young Onset Parkinson's Disease 12 years after her diagnosis at age 27. Now she is a dedicated speaker, writer, educator and Parkinson's advocate. She speaks passionately about the challenges of adjusting physically and emotionally and the coping strategies available to patients.

Dr. Mathur is an active speaker in Canada and the US at patient-directed conferences.  She works with The Michael J. Fox foundation for Parkinson’s Research and serves as Co-chair of their Patient Council.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the Davis Phinney Foundation, is a member of The Brian Grant Foundation Advisory Board, the Medical Advisory Board for Parkinson Canada and also works with Parkinson’s Movement UK on North American initiatives.  Dr. Mathur has valued her involvement with World Parkinson Congress as a speaker and committee member. Locally she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Lakeridge Health Foundation.  She has authored a number of published papers and online pieces and is a regular contributor to Huffington Post Blog.  She is the founder of Designing A Cure Inc., which was created to raise awareness of Parkinson's and now serves as a platform to educate and inspire those living with this disease to take charge of their lives. Dr. Mathur has a special interest in helping educate the youngest affected by the stress of this chronic disease. To help facilitate dialogue between children and their loved ones, she has authored two books: “My Grandpa’s Shaky Hands” and “Shaky Hands – A Kid’s Guide To Parkinson’s Disease”. All proceeds from the sales of these books (available on Amazon) will be donated to support Parkinson’s research and other efforts that serve the PD community.


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