At the September 22, 2015 Parkinson's Support Group, Mrs. Doris Milligan, the group’s original leader, was recognized for her dedicated service. At that time, her successor, Darlene Stewart, was announced.
Mrs. Milligan began the support group in 2003 when her husband, Jim Milligan, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Upon moving to Scotia Village and discovering there was no Parkinson’s support group, Mrs. Milligan thoroughly researched the disease and then contacted the hospital about starting the program. With the generous support of the Scotland Memorial Foundation, Mrs. Milligan was able to begin meetings of the support group.
Though her husband passed Away in 2004, Mrs. Milligan continued facilitating the group. Her desire is that anyone affected by Parkinson’s disease or any other type of movement disorder to know and understand that help and support is available.
Mrs. Milligan states, “Even though these movement disorders cannot yet be cured, their symptoms can be treated. And the sooner they are diagnosed, the sooner you or your loved one will be able to begin treatment and learn more about how the disease and symptoms can improve over time.”
Darlene Stewart, the support group’s new facilitator states that her husband, Randy Stewart, was diagnosed with Essential Tremors, a type of movement disorder similar to Parkinson’s disease. With an overwhelming amount of research on the internet, Randy and Darlene turned to the Parkinson’s support group. Darlene states, “It was a Godsend. There was so much to learn from a patient’s and a caregiver’s point of view.”
Upon hearing of Mrs. Milligan’s role change, Darlene was up for the challenge of leading the support group. She says, “I’m excited for the potential growth of the group. I’m surprised at many people in the Laurinburg area are affected by Parkinson or Essential Tremors and aren’t aware of this support group. I am running ideas past Mrs. Milligan of how to increase the awareness in Scotland County.”
The Parkinson’s Support Group meets the 4th Tuesday of every month from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the W.R. Dulin Center. For more information, contact Darlene Stewart at 910-277-2782.