Mark Burek – Parkinson’s Disease Patient

Mark Burek – Parkinson’s Disease Patient


My name is Mark Burek and I’ve been fighting Parkinson’s disease with Albany Medical Center and the Parkinson’s Research Fund. 2007, I was delivering mail and it was in the winter time and I turned around after making a delivery to this house and I saw my right foot was leaving a drag mark in the snow. About a week or two afterwards, I was eating dinner and my wife noticed how slow I was putting the food on the fork into my mouth. Well my next step was to go to my primary care doctor and I saw him and he sent me to Dr. Molho. When Dr. Molho diagnosed me with Parkinson’s, I was shattered. The Good Lord has a way of getting your attention and steering you back towards your purpose and that’s how I looked at my Parkinson’s disease. We have what is called the Hope Soars. And what Hope Soars is is an advocacy group. We’ve been over to the Capitol in April. Get Parkinson’s recognized through the declaration of April being Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Dr. Shin and Dr. Molho have been inspirational. I never knew that in our own backyard so to speak, that we had such a dynamic thing as the Parkinson’s Research Fund and the work that Dr. Shin and Dr. Molho are doing for pretty much the eradication of Parkinson’s disease. The Parkinson’s Disease Center was formed in the late 1980s to provide specialty care to patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. We’re primarily a clinical program, but we also do research into new treatments on Parkinson’s disease. We collaborate with researchers in the lab. Mark has really helped the raise the stature of our program. Right from the beginning when I met him he said to me, you know, what do you guys need? And how can I help? And so in the process of helping us he has formed relationships in the community. He has formed community programs for our patients and other people with Parkinson’s in the community. And he’s raised money for our research program which is incredibly valuable for us. Mark and Ann Burek and Hope Soars has been fantastic as a resource for supporting my lab research at Albany Medical College for Parkinson’s disease. We currently have about six projects ongoing. And ranging from anywhere, new targets for therapeutics, such as deep brain stimulation, to understanding what’s going on in pathophysiology and Parkinson’s disease, such as these brain oscillations. What forms brain oscillations and Parkinson’s disease? The people that work at Albany Med like Dr. Shin, Dr. Mulho and his staff and the work that they do for people with Parkinson’s is amazing. I would like to thank them for helping me fulfill my purpose. Our purpose is to help people find a quality of life living with Parkinson’s disease. Give them the best shot that they have to live a decent quality of life. Parkinson’s disease does not have to define you. It’s how you fight it that defines you. (gentle music)