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NPF Supporters Provide Invaluable Parkinson’s Advice for Tim Tebow’s Recently Diagnosed Father

November 2016

With the recent news of Tim Tebow's father being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD), the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) asked our Facebook followers if they had any advice for Tim or his father, Bob. To our surprise, in less than three hours we received more than 300 insightful comments with first-hand advice to the Tebow family, that can be applied to all families and people who have received a recent PD diagnosis. Some of our favorite pieces of advice include:

"It is suggested that you exercise at least 2 days a week for an hour a day. The disease is different with each person and there are different types of Parkinson's. Is he a candidate for DBS?" -Barbara Hogg


"Find a good movement disorder specialist. This is not the end of your father's life and he can live a full and proactive life. Eventually, things will change in your Dad and family's lives but everyone will adapt to it. Get an Aware and Care kit from the National Parkinson Foundation just in case he needs to go to a hospital. Tim Tebow, you need to start reading the pamphlets [educational books] about Parkinson's that are offered by the National Parkinson Foundation. Stay positive and with God's grace, everything will be okay." -Emilia Maria Rodriguez 


"Find a good neurologist/MDS [Movement Disorder Specialist]. Staying active and exercising is very important. My husband was just diagnosed this spring at the age 69, so I have been learning as much as I can. There are great support groups for your Dad and for your family." -Teri Wagoner Bequette


"Keep moving! Get a prescription for physical therapy (PT). Make sure the PT specializes in neurological rehab as compared to sports related injuries. Stay in touch with people. Find a support group online. Find out what is available in the area you live in of exercise groups specifically for PD. Be sure your neurologist is a movement specialist if at all possible. Seriously consider the DBS [Deep Brain Stimulation surgery] if you qualify." -Virginia Steinberg 


"My husband has had PD for about 15 years... I would add please get a good speech therapist who also teaches swallow therapy. That is very important as the voice and swallow abilities diminish as the disease progresses." -Shirley Warren 


"My mother had PD for about 25 years. She kept a great attitude and continued to stay active and even help others. She founded a support group which I now help run. We always tell our members to exercise every day (boxing, dancing and cycling, if safe are especially helpful) and always take medications on time, every time. It is a very individualized disease and great advancements have been and continue to be made in the treatment of the disease." -Anne Barnhardt Bybee 


"I always give the same advice to newly diagnosed fellow Parkinson's people...learn everything you can, spend the time and money to seek good medical care, and remain as active as you can for as long as you can. I was finally diagnosed almost 5 years ago at the age of 46. We are blessed here in Jax [Jacksonville] with good health care choices for Parkinson's patients. Wishing you and your father and family many long active years!" -Ginger Janda


"My dad was diagnosed almost 14 years ago at the age of 47. He had DBS surgery 4 years ago. It gave him a better quality of life. Although his Parkinson's is still progressing, staying active is key. Which can be hard during depression. Keep pressing forward. Oh and find a great neurologist!" -Shelley Austin 


"My husband has Parkinson's too. Keep active! My husband walks every day he can. Keep your mind busy with reading or a hobby. That is what we do. God Bless!" -Sandy Misner 


"I am so sorry, he [Bob] spoke at my church, Faith Promise, I enjoyed listening to him. My father has Parkinson's and I think the best thing is prayer, love understanding and staying active we also play games which help with keeping the mind alert and hand coordination." -Dixie Trisler 


"Keep moving! Use it, or lose it. Find a good movement disorder specialist. Muhammad Ali Parkinson's Center staff are very knowledgeable in that area. Very caring. Join a support group. Learn as much as you can about it. Fight PD like a warrior. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, it affects everyone. Good luck in your fight." -Rosa Gonzales


"Positive attitude for, both. Exercise every day, take your medicine as prescribe, eat well but remember lower protein helps, as it can keep the medicine from reaching the brains barrier, your dietician can tell you the [amount in grams of] daily protein he should be on… We each are unique in our journey with Parkinson's, no one reacting the same. But this [NPF] is a loving, caring group, more like a family born of our hearts, so use them." -Janice Fisher 


"Trust the Lord, first and foremost. Find a good Neurologist and support group. Take medications as ordered, not skipping doses. Exercise! My husband's Parkinson's started at age 23. He is now 57. DBS for him was life changing." -Linda L. Winter Wheeler 


"Keep a positive attitude and good sense of humor. My dad has the greatest sense of humor, and it has helped through many rough times. Never look at this diagnosis as a death sentence but as a chance to fight and live!" -DeAnn Rowe 


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If you have been recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, you are not alone. NPF is here to help empower you through all stages of PD by giving you the tools and information you need to lead a healthier, more independent life. Visit www.parkinson.org to read articles that have been selected for people who are newly diagnosed with PD.

Still not sure where to begin? Call the toll-free NPF Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) to speak with a PD specialist who can answer all of your Parkinson's questions and send you our free, lifesaving resources.