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Appreciates Kind's support

Dear Editor,

Wisconsin's Third District is fortunate to have strong, common-sense representation in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Ron Kind. I recently worked closely with Rep. Kind's staff in Washington, D.C., on issues affecting the Parkinson's disease community in the Third District.

My experiences working with Rep. Kind and his office are contradictory to some of the previously published letters to the editor. Rep. Kind was personally attentive to my issues, listened to my opinion and responded by supporting his constituents with Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease is the second-most-common neurodegenerative disease, affecting over 1 million Americans and their families. Parkinson's disease affects different people in different ways. While medication masks some symptoms for a limited period, generally four to eight years, dose-limiting side-effects do occur after time. Eventually the medications lose their effectiveness, leaving the patient unable to move, speak or swallow. There is no cure for Parkinson's disease.

In Congress, Rep. Kind has been a strong advocate for his constituents with Parkinson's disease. Rep. Kind supported a special Parkinson's disease research program at the Department of Defense to benefit military veterans with PD. Rep. Kind has been a strong supporter of all forms of stem cell research, one of the most promising research avenues for an eventual cure for Parkinson's disease. Affordable health insurance is important to patients with PD -- newer, more effective medication costs upwards of $200/month for a single medication. Rep. Kind introduced legislation to address the effect of rising health care costs on small businesses and the self-employed.

I know Rep. Kind to be personally concerned about his constituents suffering from PD. The congressman himself called me out of the blue one evening to inquire about PD and how it was affecting my family. I greatly appreciate Rep. Kind's concern and willingness to listen to my opinions. Rep. Kind's health legislative fellow was also willing to listen to my opinion and has been especially responsive when I contact her in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Kind has worked hard on behalf of the Parkinson's disease community in western Wisconsin. I appreciate his strong representation in Washington.