I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) two years ago. I had a hard time accepting this because I had already been through so much. In 2004, I was diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma. I fought back with a stem cell transplant, but the lymphoma returned. In 2007, I underwent a bone marrow transplant and I recently celebrated nine years of being cancer free!
After I was diagnosed with PD I was still working as a full time registered nurse, trying to persevere through the symptoms —difficulty walking, clumsiness, falling and tremors in my left arm. I eventually had to accept the fact that I had Parkinson’s and that I had to stop working. I retired from my beloved nursing career, which revolved around newborn babies in the NICU, before I wanted to.
After that I pretty much threw in the towel. I thought I was done. I felt like I was at a dead end and wanted to give up.
Fast forward five months later when my family read a newspaper article about Moving Day® North Los Angeles. It was exactly what I needed. The Moving Day® walk motivated me to turn something negative into a positive. When I began training in March, I was barely able to walk a quarter of a mile. But I did not give up and I continued to walk three days per week. My doctors helped me by adjusting my medication and providing me with ways to improve my stride. It was my dream to be able to accomplish this walk and not give up on the possibilities of what I can achieve. I realized that I couldn’t let this disease be the reason for not doing something. At Moving Day® North LA I walked with my team and completed my first 5K! Goal accomplished!
I am excited to share my story with all of you. Reading people’s stories and being inspired about how they have gone through something unfortunate, but still fight, inspired me.
You can’t let this disease give you a reason not to do things. You just have to do it your way. You might have to change how you do a few things, but you can still do it. I left Moving Day® North LA hoping that I impacted at least one person by completing the walk. That hope is my reason to keep moving on and never give up!