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Mud and Jake Klemper were special boys. Their father knew how special they were although his constant browbeating did little to encourage their special gift. But he did instill them with one thing -- "The Klemper Pride." The boys would have lived their lives unknown and uncared about in Slope Oak, Iowa, if not for a little song Mud and Jake composed one hot afternoon. It became a monster hit. As a result of their success, the boys became international superstars. Through it all, they never really seemed to understand what was going on around them and they maintained their simple outlook on life -- until it all became too much!
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Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000 at age 45, for Bill Schmalfeldt PD was "just a concept" for the first several years. As his condition worsened and he went to work for the US Federal Government's premiere Medical Research Agency, Bill began to search for clinical research trials that might shed some light on his disease -- afflicting 1.5 million Americans with 50- to 60-thousand new diagnoses each year. He found that for most clinical trials, he either had "too much" Parkinson's disease or "not enough." At length, he found one that fit perfectly. It was a phase one trial of Deep Brain Stimulation in Early Parkinson's Disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. According to the inclusion/exclusion requirements, he was a perfect candidate. One catch... if he were to be one of the 15 people randomized to the surgical group, he would have to undergo brain surgery for the implantation of the DBS devices. After discussing it with his neurologist and family, Bill decided to enroll in the trial in 2007. He was, in fact, randomized to the surgical group and had the surgery in June 2007. In March 2011, Bill took early disability retirement from his position with the Federal government and now devotes his time to blogging at billschmalfeldt.com and doing his level best to right the wrongs of the right wing by writing.
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