Patrick’s testimonial & vision…

“During the Greek and Roman periods, it took over a century to double, each time, the amount of knowledge in the world. Just after the industrial revolution: 25 years. Today, experts believe it takes a bit more than a year, actually closer to a-year-and-a-half to double the amount of knowledge in the world. In April 2015, it will be one day. Every day. On the 18th of April 2015, by 10PM, it will take 3 minutes to double the amount of knowledge in the world. Every 3 minutes! And on April 19th, 2015, at 7AM, boom…

“I will wake up and it will be my 50th birthday. It will just simply be my 50th birthday. And I don’t give a damn about the speed of doubling the knowledge in the world! The only thing I will care about on that day is: have they finally found a solution for Parkinson disease? Because, 19th April 2015 will not only be my 50th birthday, it will also mark the 10th anniversary in my condition with Parkinson. And if I have to believe the statistics, by then it will be extremely urgent. I might not have much resources left…

“That is why I am embarking into this new chapter of my life. Leaving a successful business career to follow my call. Because I want to spend the next 4 years, 4 months, and 4 days, working on… guess what… doubling the amount of knowledge in the world!…

But in one specific area: contribute to solve the Parkinson challenge. So that, on April 19th 2015 at 7AM, I will wake up and it will be my 50th birthday, but not simply my 50th birthday. I will look myself proudly in the mirror and say “I did the right choices back then. And I am now the first person ever, on earth, in history, who has healed from Parkinson’s” (and even if I am the second or third, I will still be very happy!).

“So here starts the writing of a new story in my life. It is a story of fear. It is a story of hope. But let me tell you one final thing: every time there is a story of fear and hope, there is always a heart that is beating. A heart that is beating…”

Patrick’s speech on December 18, 2010

“Suppliers of Positive Attitude”:
the inspiring story of the Demoucelle’s

De morgen, April 2012

 

Nothing is sure. At one moment you’re proudly facing the wind, you enjoy, you feel happy … and then something turns your life completely upside down and there is no balance anymore.

My fortieth birthday wasn’t looking so good. The results of the nuclear magnetic resonance scan that I had undergone, showed that I had the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The assistant who had carried out the study gave some explanation. “It is a degenerative disease, Mr Demoucelle. Your brains isn’t producing enough dopamine, which especially affects the coordination of movements. Typical symptoms include tremor, slowness and stiffness. Since it is a degenerative disease, your condition will not improve. So far there is no cure. Normally this is a disease of old age, it is rare in people of your age. While you can’t die of Parkinson’s disease, the mortality rate in patients with Parkinson’s is three times higher than other people.” Useless to say that we were not going to celebrate my birthday. Parkinson took our existence completely upside down. You don’t expect as a young forties to suffer from that “old age disease”. We struggle with it every day – but we’re not going to sit and wait. We chose to approach this disease from a positive perspective and live our lives in that direction.

We have made choices and taken a new path. We have set up our own business to also show others how to positively tackle your life and to coach them. With this book [Positif] we want to share our experience and give advice to live a positive life to a larger audience. It is not enough just to adopt a positive attitude, you also have to justify it decently. This book explains the building blocks with which you sustain positivism, and how you do it.

Meanwhile, my fiftieth birthday is coming and this time we do plan to have champagne popping and make it a big event. Not because I’m not cured from Parkinson’s (yet), but because we have chosen to live positively.

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Todd Sherer’s foreword
to Demoucelle’s book “Positive”

I first met Patrick and Anne-Marie about four years ago when Patrick, who had worked at Bain & Company at one point, reached out to a colleague of mine at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), who had also worked for Bain.  I didn’t know then that our first encounter would evolve into a close relationship through which I had the privilege of seeing first-hand the generosity, optimism and courage exhibited by Patrick and Anne-Marie.

Patrick had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) right around his 40th birthday.  By the time we met, Patrick had been living with PD for several years and was seeking to learn more about Parkinson’s research and potential new PD therapies in development.  Our first interaction set the course for all future interactions; a meeting that was scheduled to last an hour lasted about four, as Patrick and Anne-Marie jumped deep into the science with informed questions about the state of research and the reality of drug development.  But what was more striking for me was watching how they chose to take the reality of living with PD, which can be difficult and frustrating, and used it to make a difference. Leveraging their extensive management experience, they soon formed a new consulting company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations reach their full potential through leadership training and skill development.

In typical generous style, Patrick and Anne-Marie soon offered to travel to the United States to conduct seminars and trainings with our Foundation’s staff. What was so striking was how in sync their message was with the MJFF culture. When Michael J. Fox founded the Foundation he did so with the goal of getting improved treatments to PD patients.  Inherent in our DNA is positivity and optimism – drug development is complex, lengthy and marked with many failures.  Yes, over 10 years since our founding, we still believe and we know that we will support and accelerate the development of new therapies that PD patients need.  We are objective about supporting different approaches and embrace risk to try to get the highest rewards and through it all, we share our optimism with the PD and general community that we are getting closer to our mutual goal of new therapies.  

Patrick and Anne-Marie fully embody the POOOSITIVE way of thinking and are the best teachers of leveraging that approach in one’s personal and professional life.  They have become close friends, and with each phone call or meeting, I continue to learn from them  how our Foundation can go deeper in applying objectivity, open-mindedness and optimism to be better at what we do. Our staff has grown through their teachings and, they continue to help us reach ever closer to realizing our full potential as individuals and as an organization.  Each interaction with Anne-Marie and Patrick has been insightful and inspiring to me and I have no doubt that their POOOSITIVE approach will inspire countless others.

Todd Sherer, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
January 2014

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