Diagnosed at 65

I had a successful business career through my 40’s but it never satisfied my deep desire to be a dancer, singer or perhaps an actor.  When the opportunity presented itself, I didn’t hesitate!  I was asked to audition for a film, Out to Sea, dancing and acting with several of my heroes, Donald O’Connor, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.  This role lead to over 50 different roles in films, and the honor of receiving the best actor award in the Christian Film Ministries in 2010, TV shows, commercials, etc. Then just as I was getting comfortable in my new life, my fore finger began to twitch.  Since my mother had Parkinson’s Disease I knew the signs.  “No”, I said, “not now!”  But it was now. “What do I do now? What can I do now? How can I get help? Where can I go?” These we the thoughts that overcame me.

The new community where I lived had a Parkinson’s Support Group sponsored by the American Parkinson Disease Association so I thought “Let’s try that!”

Although I felt welcomed, it was not the immediate solution I was hoping for.  After a few meetings I realized what was missing, I needed to focus on what I could do, not what I couldn’t!

We all have a talent we can call upon.  In helping others find theirs, I have created a purpose for myself and the amazing thing is I found that I began to enjoy life more!  It was not just service to others; it became a pathway to regain my lost dignity and optimism, and sense of value as a person.  We live in reality but we live with hope.  There is still much I can do. I can dance with my heart….my body will follow.

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