On Nov. 1, the Cottesmore Exercise Group for people with Parkinson’s disease gathered in the Cottesmore of Life Care rehab gym at 8 a.m. to board the Harbor Place at Cottesmore bus.


The group from Gig Harbor, Washington, filled every seat on the bus for the journey to the Hope Convention at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington. The Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, the Washington Chapter of the American Parkinson’s Disease Association and many other supporters sponsored the conference, and keynote speakers gave inspiration and education to the more than 600 attendees.


During the early afternoon, Megumi Azekawa from Puget Sound Music Therapy gave a presentation with help from the Cottesmore group. Azekawa demonstrated how movement can be combined with exercise and singing for improved overall results. At the end of her presentation, the Cottesmore Exercise Group sang two songs with familiar tunes but lyrics modified to talk about Parkinson’s.


“Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” addressed how individuals with the disease can keep a positive attitude, and “Remembering,” to the tune of the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song, spoke to all the interventions Parkinson’s patients have to keep in mind throughout the day.


“It was a wonderful feeling to hear most of those present singing along with us,” said Glenn Anderson, physical therapist assistant at Cottesmore of Life Care. “The lyrics were passed out in the folders at the conference and projected on the display screens at the convention center.”


After the conference, everyone hopped back on the Harbor Place bus and headed for Gig Harbor once again.