Much to my surprise on April 21, 2004, at age 60, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD). I say 'much to my surprise' because in the spring of 2002, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, obviously, a misdiagnosis.

Prior to taking any PD medication, I had a tremor in my left leg and my left arm was not swinging naturally. My son, Trent, whose first question upon my diagnosis was “what can I do to help my Mom?” contacted the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre and eventually I was referred to Dr. Stoessl and his great team.

Today at 72, I lead a regimented and very active lifestyle. I participate in a variety of activities; X-country skiing, snowshoeing, swimming, walking, golf, line dancing, dance steps, singing, writing, reading and board games. I recently organized a weekly Parkinson's exercise group. Our physiotherapist completed Dr. Becky Farley's “Parkinson Wellness Recovery” fitness course and instructs the group. At age 71, I also completed the same course and instruct the class when our physiotherapist is absent.

At age 72, I have been facing the challenges of Parkinson's disease for approximately 15 years. I try and remain positive. The future is unknown, and the present is what I do know. I am single and finding a person with Parkinson’s with similar interests and doing reasonably well has eluded me.

I do believe in neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to repair itself. I’ve had bouts of freezing, dyskinesia, and tremors, but these experiences are sporadic. I continue to have an excellent care team that supports me. I would like to branch out and have more friends who are living with Parkinson’s.

The two most significant members of my support team are my grandchildren, ages 9 and 7. Their love, support, knowledge, encouragement, caring, and sensitivity go far beyond what words can express. I am deeply grateful to have them in my journey.

Footnote: When I was officially diagnosed, I was asked if I was depressed. I was stunned by the question. I came home and wrote how I felt. The following is exactly how I recorded my thoughts: “It turned out to be a beautiful spring day. We sat by the lake. Nature seems at rest and so was I. There was so much beauty, peace and serenity surrounding me I wanted to be wrapped in its gentle cloak and surrender myself to everything that was so good in my life.”


Sign Up for Our E-Newsletter

Get the latest news about PD research, resources and community initiatives – straight to your inbox.

Please enter a valid email

Skip step

Invalid year format. Eg: 2020
Skip step
Zip code is required for chapter communications
Skip step

*Please note that not all content is available in both languages. If you are interested in receiving Spanish communications, we recommend selecting “both" to stay best informed on the Foundation's work and the latest in PD news.

Skip step

Thanks for Signing Up

We are proud to have you as a part of our community. To ensure you receive the latest Parkinson’s news, research updates and more, please check your email for a message from us. If you do not see our email, it may be in your spam folder. Just mark as “not spam” and you should receive our emails as expected.

mail icon

Subscribe here to get the latest news on treatments, research and other updates.