The Parkinson’s Stories That Inspired Us in 2021

Whether diagnosed at 31 or 72, tremor or no tremor, fast or slow progression, feeling relief or anger at hearing the words “You have Parkinson’s,” every Parkinson’s disease (PD) story is different. Every person who shared their PD Story with the Parkinson’s Foundation has one thing in common — they hope their story might just help someone else.

Each of the top PD stories below inspire us to keep making life better for people with Parkinson’s. Let these testimonials remind you that you are not alone. We thank everyone who has found the courage to share their story with us and our global PD community.

Senator Johnny IsaksonSen. Isakson

Dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s

“The Parkinson’s Foundation is taking aggressive steps towards a future without Parkinson’s disease through the Reach Further campaign, and I am proud to support these ambitious plans.” Read Sen. Isakson’s story now.

Paula FowlerPaula

Staying active and up for anything 

“I am not ashamed of my disease... I intend to keep pushing myself to remain strong both physically and mentally, so I am better able to deal with the disease as it progresses.” Read Paula’s story now.

Samantha FelderSamantha

Advocating for herself from day one

“If I learned one thing from being diagnosed young, at 21, it is that getting young-onset Parkinson’s is not a death sentence. Life will get tougher; you just have to find a way to adapt.” Read Samantha’s story now.

Brian GeorgeBrian

Strong believer in physical therapy

“From a time before my formal diagnosis, I have understood that exercise is important therapy... but humans are not good at connecting future consequences with immediate actions.” Read Brian’s story now.

Dean Clarke TaylorDean

Learning to care for his partner, and himself

“We planned on getting older together, but we didn’t plan to get sick... Each day is a gift. Each day is a gift. Each day is a gift. Repeat.”
Listen to Dean’s story now.

Nikita KrielaartNikita

Diagnosed at 20 and finding what works for her

“On the morning of my first day of ski lessons, my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I wasn't able to hold my cup or eat cereal. At first, I thought that it was just nerves...” Read Nikita’s story now.

Mark NicholsonMark

Adjusting to a new identity

“Parkinson's is physically a struggle with the shaking, the slowness and the endless list of things your body goes through every day, but it is amazing what a human being can get used to physically.” Read Mark’s story now.

Melissa LivingstonMelissa

Evolved from anger to hope

“I rallied. The medications allowed me to wiggle my fingers and move my locked up hand freely for the first time in years. I could put my girls on the bus and wave goodbye. Small victories.” Read Melissa’s story now.

Peter AndersonPeter

Shares his PD life lessons to help others

“These are my tips for adjustments: I fixed my desk and kitchen table to the wall so I can pull on it and get myself up. My bed is now eight inches higher, making it much easier to get out of bed.” Read Peter’s story now.

Joel DiazJoel

Single parent dedicated to finding the right treatment

“I’m grateful to have had deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery to help manage my tremors… daily living is a challenge but with support from my family and online community I am happy.” Read Joel’s story now.

Ruth RileyRuth

Dedicated to finding a new normal, together

“In 2017 I noticed my husband Scott’s right pinky twitching… A few weeks later, Scott’s whole hand was trembling, and he could no longer hold a glass of water without spilling.” Read Ruth’s story now.

Suzann RewSuzann

From feeling destroyed to finding her way back

“I started grieving for all the things I thought it would take from me. One of those was hiking... I’m not sure when my attitude changed, but I decided that I wasn’t going to let this disease win.” Read Suzann’s story now.

Every My PD Story is unique.
If you would like to share your Parkinson’s story, please submit your story online.

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