PHOENIX - The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute is giving a voice to an often overlooked part of the community: Hispanics with Parkinson’s.
Voces Unidas is the only choir for Hispanics with Parkinson’s in the country.
Mimi Espinoza’s mother has Parkinson’s and joined the choir.
“We meet a lot of friends, better doctors,” she said. “And the good thing is, it’s in Spanish.”
Para leer en español: Voces Unidas lanza video para honrar y motivar a la comunidad hispana con Parkinson
In a study by the Washington University School of Medicine, of the ethnic minority groups in America, Hispanics are twice as likely to get Parkinson’s Disease.
Battling the condition is hard enough and, as Espinoza said, not being able to communicate poses an even greater challenge.
Before joining the choir, “my mom was alone at home,” Espinoza said. “She wasn’t part of the community.”
Now she and the choir are competing to win the People’s Choice Award at the World Parkinson Congress.
Their music video for “I Am the Beat of Another Song” is the only one in Spanish.
The video will be presented at the congress Sept. 20-23 in Portland, Oregon.
“Writing this song has been super important because it has become a message of unity and hope for the Parkinson’s community,” said songwriter José María Lobo. “I am very happy to be singing with all of these people that are now my family.”
As noted by Claudia Martinez, Hispanic Outreach Coordinator, the Center has an extensive network reaching as far as Central and South America.