Carl Ragsdale from Camden, TN
Nominated by his wife Paula Ragsdale
My husband has YOPD; diagnosed two years ago. Why is he a Superstar? Being in a rural area we don’t have access to local support groups (yet!!). He has become the face of Parkinson’s in our area. If he hears of someone that has been diagnosed in the area, he is willing to call and to help with online resources and questions. Parkinson’s was a “shaking” disease people thought, until Carl. He is active in 4-H and FFA, judges beauty contests, and participates in Relay for Life. He is willing to answer questions from junior high and high school students about his disease.
Recently he has been asked to be a member of an FFA Alumni Chapter. Although he is not an advocate in the usual sense, he is out and about in the community showing others that with Parkinson’s you can lead a full and active life. Those at the local convenience store know when he’s having a bad day and can’t make words. They allow time for him to dig out his money and figure out his gestures of what he wants. He attended a 4-H public speaking contest as a judge after a funeral. He was shaky that night with his hands, head, neck, etc. and was willing to for all to see that it doesn’t change him and who he is. His four-year-old granddaughter knows that Pa needs to take his meds and has Parkinson’s disease. It’s not the life he chose, but it’s his.