Social Media Summit Scholarship Essay – Corey Daniel King
Editor’s Note: This is an entry in our Scholarship Contest for Patients and Caregivers to attend the Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit Oct. 17-21 in Rochester, Minn. See this post
for more details on the contest, and please cast your votes by liking or commenting on the candidates you think would be best.
Here is Corey Daniel King’s Essay:
I’m Corey King. I’m the president and chairman of the Alamo Area Parkinson’s Support Group, the South Texas chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. I’ve had many roles in my life; a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a military officer, an executive in public, private, and startup businesses, and an engineer and scientist. Recently, I discovered that I’m also a person with Parkinson’s, and I’ve become an advocate, fundraiser, cheerleader, and supporter in the quest to ease the burden and find the cure for Parkinson’s disease.
I was diagnosed at age 47, 2 years ago. My diagnosis story is somewhat typical for a young-onset patient; I spent years battling the symptoms of Parkinson’s without knowing what they were, and I walked a long, crooked path with many misdiagnoses and delays before finally getting the answer that none of us with Parkinson’s want to hear. There was some comfort in being able to put a name to the wide variety of seemingly unrelated medical problems that I experienced, and to finally be able to make a plan for how to combat the disease, but like other young-onset Parkinson’s patients I would’ve preferred to hear almost anything else.
Since then, I’ve become involved in leading our local support organization. We provide support groups in San Antonio and South Texas, and we raise funds to support medical research and provide educational symposiums, conferences, and outreach activities. For much of the past 28 years, I have been a leader and executive in the information technology and information security world, and I have a deep regard and personal fondness for information systems and social media technologies. We at AAPSG apply those technologies to extend our reach as we communicate to other PWP’s, caregivers, and supporters.
In the last 6 months, since I’ve assumed leadership of AAPSG, we have created a new Ning.com-based website, and we’ve linked our organizational Facebook page, my personal Facebook page, my Twitter feed, and my blog site at http://cdkingcrookedpath.wordpress.com with our new website. We’ve been successful in making all of these technologies work together, and we use them to communicate more easily with our members, to reach out to potential donors and supporters, and to educate the community at large about Parkinson’s disease. Our information technologies are a force multiplier for us–we use social media and other traditional media such as newsletters, radio advertisements, and print media, to reach much farther and contact more people then would otherwise be possible.
It’s been a busy 6 months. In that time, in addition to working with AAPSG to create our social media systems, I attended the Parkinson’s Action Network conference in Washington, D.C. and met with 6 Texas representatives and senators and was able to influence Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to join the caucus supporting Parkinson’s disease education and research in the United States Congress. I’ve also been interviewed on two local radio shows and have been featured in a newspaper article on deep brain stimulation in the San Antonio Express-News. I’ve begun writing The Crooked Path, a well-received blog from a patient’s perspective on the issues that Parkinson’s patients and caregivers face. And, I also have had deep brain stimulation surgery and have begun the process of adjusting and tuning the stimulator.
These activities are valuable as methods for reaching out as broadly as possible to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s and their families and care partners. I am passionately dedicated to this cause, and social media technologies are some of the most effective tools at my disposal to pursue my goals. At the Mayo Clinic conference on social media, I hope to learn about new social media techniques and share my own experiences with others to benefit the Parkinson’s community.
I have found that our biggest challenge, as is usually true, is communication. Social media helps us to improve and expand our communication, reach more people who need what we have to offer, and create an awareness among benefactors and the broader population about the needs and challenges of those with Parkinson’s disease. I look forward to attending the conference, sharing my own experiences, and learning from my colleagues about how to do this important job more effectively.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Brain & Nervous System Support Group.
Corey has an amazing outlook on life and most deserving of the scholarship. An investment in Corey is an investment in life. I had the good fortune to work for Corey running a busness unit in San Antonio. Although he was junior in age, his maturity and inovation was that of a seasoned professional. I always felt his positive approach and fresh look at endless challenges provided an inspiration to me and his entire workforce. That positive outlook continues today as he faces challenges I could not begin to understand. Corey is an inovator and always looking for a positive outcome of what ever is thrown at him. His blog is a testiment to this. This scholarship has your name on it Corey. Go get em!!
Corey is an inspirational and wonderful person, as well as a good man and a loving father. He provided my friends and I strength when we needed it most.
I have known Corey his whole life and have always seen him dedicate himself 100% to family, friends and his community. From his military service to his career in the private sector he has shown himself to be able, and anxious, to take the reins of leadership. He is a good man who will do great things in his pursuit to help others with Parkinson’s.
I worked with Corey at Southwest Research Institute, where he was known as a premier expert on computer networks and a superb manager. In addition to his first-hand experience with Parkinson’s– and his skills in leading the regional Parkinson’s support group — he would bring extraordinary technical knowledge about computers and social media to the Summit.
Corey King is a phenomenal advocate for both those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, as well as their family members and friends. His honesty and willingness to share is truly inspiring, and will be instrumental in raising awareness and providing hope. Corey King is succeeding at what we all aspire to do: making a difference.
I was Corey’s roommate in College (Hook’em Horns!) and he was a great guy at Texas and has only gotten better. He is more than deserving of the scholarship opportunity and would be a fantastic representative of t he Parkinson’s community.
There isn’t anyone I know who is a stronger advocate for the cause. Corey deserves a lot of credit.
Corey is an inspiring example of someone dealing with an unexpected diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease with courage and determination. I have known him and his family for 5 years; I have been impressed by his quiet integrity, unselfishness and kindness to others. Since his diagnosis, he has shed a shy demeanor to become one who shares his life’s difficulties with others, seeking to improve the lives of other Parkinson’s patients and invite them to dialog. His leadership qualities are apparent; I know he will add much to the conference and will continue to be an outspoken advocate in the battle against this disease.
Corey’s willingness to share his journey is amazing, inspiring, and humbling! His honesty and openness can only help others tremendously – regardless of their condition or whatever they are facing in life. He is very deserving of this scholarship, and will be an amazing advocate for this community.
I’ve known Corey for 17 years and couldn’t agree more with the comments posted here about his intelligence, drive, and character. We’ve worked together as executives in two companies and Corey is without question a world-class talent. I also serve on the advisory board for the Alamo Area Parkinson’s Support Group and want everyone to know that Corey provides a very real, yet very positive and approachable, example of how to deal effectively with whatever hand has been dealt in life. Corey has my deepest respect and admiration. I’m very proud to be his colleague and friend.