James T. Cordy
Advisory Board Member
Jim Cordy is a former metallurgist for Allegheny Ludlum. The good news about Jim is that his Parkinsons is progressing rather slowly, the bad news is he was diagnosed at age 40, so he has a lot of years to go. Jim had to go on disability in 1996. While no longer officially employed, he does what he can to help wage the battle against Parkinsons disease. Translate that information: given his limitations, Jim works harder and longer hours than ever before. He said, "While you will never hear me say that Im glad I have Parkinsons, the people Ive met and the experiences Ive had while working in this arena are the most cherished and rewarding in my life."
Jim is an advocate for increased funding for Parkinsons research. He believes we are on the threshold of a cure or new effective treatment for Parkinsons disease and that an infusion of funds such as provided by the Udall Bill might cut years off the goal. Jim admits that hes impatient with people who say, "Wait until next year." His reply is often, "I have Parkinsons, for me the clock is ticking." Jim and his wife have made trips to Washington, D.C. during the past few years working on the Udall Bill. They have made or been part of the initial contact with over 100 Congressmen and/or Senators. He has also had the privilege of testifying before both the house and Senate Health and Human Services subcommittees. His last testimony to the Senate was as part of a distinguished panel including Dr. Gerald Fischbach and Michael J. Fox.
Jim often tells people that he does three things: Parkinsons, ponds and PCs. Besides his Parkinsons involvement, he has a Japanese garden with four ponds, three waterfalls, two big Koi, several dozen goldfish, a frog, and four turtles. People with Parkinsons often have sleep problems. Jim finds the Internet an interesting way to spend those wee hours when he cant sleep.
Jim was honored to receive the Lou Fishman Award from Parkinsons Action Network in 1996 for his work in advocacy. In 1997, he was honored to win the Sidney Doros Award for his work in the community in Parkinsons awareness.
He does volunteer work with the principal Parkinsons researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. Jim is President and founder of the local chapter of the National Parkinsons Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of NPF headquartered in Miami, Florida. He is a founding member of The Parkinson Alliance. This is a group of leading advocates the only national volunteer group composed of people with Parkinsons disease or those directly affected by it.