Melissa lives with Secondary Parkinsonism, Ataxia, and Dystonic Tremor. She began her journey at the age 41. After years of multiple doctor visits, exams, and tests, she received a diagnosis of Young Onset Parkinson's Disease (YOPD) in 2012. Though it came during a challenging time of being a wife, with two young daughters, and working in the school district, having a label was welcomed. In 2017, the diagnosis was changed to Secondary Parkinsonism with Ataxia and Dystonic Tremor.
Little to no resources were found while trying to cope with the disease. The public perception of Parkinson's Disease (PD) is that it only affects a small group of older people—- but in actuality, there are over 6-10 million people worldwide of all ages who share this diagnosis.
In 2015, Melissa started a support group online, Never Give Up PD, to share and learn tips with other People with Parkinson's (PwP’s) and their loved ones. Today, it’s known as Parkinson’s International - Never Give Up (PINGU).
In 2017, Parkinson’s International Foundation, Inc. (PIFI) was founded. Our goal is to create awareness both locally and globally, promote education and advocacy, and empower those living with this disease to lead richer, fuller lives. Based in Georgetown, Kentucky, PIFI is a nonprofit organization ran by volunteers in Canada, South Africa, and the USA.
Steve is a graduate of BCTCS with a degree in Industrial Technology. He is currently employed at Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky at the Georgetown plant. Starting as a Production Team Member in 1994, Steve has advanced to his role of Senior Manager in the Skilled Trades Department over Assembly.
His wife, Melissa, was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease in 2012. Recognizing the lack of resources available to caregivers like himself, as well as those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Steve and Melissa co-founded an online support group with aims of assisting others in navigating the complexities of PD. Working to provide comfort, as well as hope in finding support and coping strategies, they quickly identified a greater need of advocacy for their cause, leading to the establishment of Parkinson’s International Foundation Inc.
Steve’s experience allows him to acknowledge the increasing demand of necessary caregiver support, while assuring others through the transitions needed to cope with a loved one being affected by PD. He is dedicated to finding adequate resources for both patients and caregivers to minimize the grief and stress associated with living with Parkinson’s.
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Mikel is a graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Law and earned an MBA from Eastern Kentucky University. Mike did financial and insurance planning before going to law school and is well versed in Business Law in addition to Elder Law, VA Planning, Special Needs and Estate Planning. Protecting assets from the government and nursing homes, and helping clients pass those assets to their families is Mike's passion.
Mike’s law firm, McKinley Law Group, is a member of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association (LCPLFA), which allows the McKinley Law Group to offer Life Care Planning in addition to traditional Elder Law services. Life Care Planning focuses on getting the right care for you or your loved one so he or she enjoys the best possible quality of life during long-term illness.
Mike is a member of ElderCounsel, The National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, Rotary International, Chamber of Commerce, and is Accredited with the Better Business Bureau.
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