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.
I and my family first met Corey in 1988 and, being new in town from Australia, we were struck by Corey’s openness, intelligence and warmth. Needless to say I quickly became close friends with Corey and his family. I would have to say that when Corey rolls up his sleeves to pursue his goals, he doesn’t hold back, and this is yet another instance where Corey sets personal standards and demonstrates determination that shines a beacon for the rest of us to follow. I admire his force of will and wish all the very best to Corey and his supportive network of family and friends in USA.
Thank you Kev. Miss you.
Thank you also Craig. Hope you are all well.
I worked with Corey for the past 5 years, and found him to be amazing in what he can accomplish. Corey is funny, articulate, clear-headed and makes everyone else feel better about themselves. You cannot find a stronger, more likable advocate.
Corey is the best advocate working for the Parkinson’s Community, he is a leader, a warm caring people person; I add my vote for Corey to receive one of the scholarships. He will bring a lot of knowledge to the Social Media Summit.
Helena Camps. PWP
Corey has always been driven in all that he does and he has taken that committment, energy and intelligence and directed in such a positive way to fighting Parkinson’s disease. Instead of simply accepting a diagnosis he has chosen to make it a mission to help educate and support others afflicted wiht this illness. His dignity, energy and passion in living a full life with Parkinson’s is a true inpsiration.
Having worked with Corey for the past 5 years (as well as having a common background as Air Force Veterans) I can say that Corey is passionate and dedicated to whatever cause or issue he is currently focused on. As such I have no doubt that he would take everything he could learn from the social media summit and immediately apply it to helping people better understand Parkinsons, raising community awareness and providing greater support networks for those affected by the disease. For evidence just read his personal blog The Crooked Path, which provides an insight, straight from the horse’s mouth, that few would ever be willing to discuss, much less post online for the world to see. It’s unfortunate that Corey has, by his own decision, decided to retire from his “day job” due to the effects of the disease, but fortunate to the Parkinsons’ community as he now has the ability to put his full focus on bringing greater understanding, and hopefully greater research focus and funding, on combating this ailment. I’ve enjoyed working with Corey, and look forward to following his new career as a Parkinsons advocate. You’re cleared for takeoff Corey! Have a great flight!
Corey is always positive, leads strongly from his heart. He’s on my short list of real heroes. I always read his postings as soon as I hear about them. I find them inspiring and warm, and his ability to use humor to illuminate his (and all of our) struggles makes them seem more bearable. I will expect that Corey will become well known in the world of PD because his dedication and strength will simply make him stand. Strongly recommend you make use of this valuable person as a resource for all.
I have known Corey for 17 years. We have worked together, travelled together, enjoyed meals together and just been friends. Corey is one of the most positive people I have ever known and dedicated to and passionate about the causes he supports. In the time I’ve known Corey, I’ve never known him to fail in anything he attempts. I have sollowed his “crooked path” with much interest, both meeting with Corey regularly and following his blog. I fully support his pursuit of this scholarship and am confident he will be a positive contributor to the summit.
Great essay from an inspiring guy who has a heart for those on a crooked path. I vote for you to receive the scholarship.