Frankie, 12, wrote this speech about his father:
When you go to the doctor you get good news or bad news. For my dad it was bad. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Parkinson's is a disease that affects a person’s nervous system and makes you shaky. It makes it hard to talk, walk, write and type. My whole family was in shock, but I was little.
Now as the years have gone by, the Parkinson’s has taken more and more away from my dad. I’m older now and I have to help out around the house more to help my dad. It takes him longer to go places if he hasn’t taken his medicine. Most of the time, if I’m around he’ll ask me to type a text in his phone for him.
Before my dad had medicine there was only one way for him to walk and that was backwards. One time my dad and I took the train to a Cubs game and a man tried to sell us tickets, but we said no. My dad walked backwards across the street and the man who tried to sell us tickets started mocking my dad by walking backwards beside him. I knew the man didn’t know my father had Parkinson’s, but it still infuriated me. I didn’t think I’d see that man again, but I did when I went to another game and he was there, again selling tickets on the street. I always think about that day at the Cubs game and wonder what the man would have done if I said something about my dad having Parkinson’s.
Another time, we were on a road trip to Florida and we stopped at Starbucks late at night. My dad didn’t take his medicine so he walked backwards into Starbucks and the lady started laughing. Our faces went down as we stared at the woman. My mom told her about my dad’s Parkinson’s and she stopped laughing.
I still love doing things with my dad such as playing catch. My dad doesn’t have trouble doing things like that and I’m happy Parkinson’s doesn’t take that from him.