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Ami's Story

Patient, Husband, Traveler

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when I was 57, and my challenge has been to overcome the symptoms. It cannot be cured. As time passes, I have to live with the way the illness affects me, but I do what I can to lead the life I want. For me, it’s about management. My strategy is 50% medication and 50% exercise, and this has helped me fight the illness.

Until recently, I was still teaching in the Department of Agriculture. I retired at Israel’s typical retirement age and not as a result of Parkinson’s. My brother has lived with Parkinson’s for 25 years and seeing how he has lived his life is inspiring to me. He has remained active: he writes, he plays chess, and he still has a career. This has given me hope for my own future.

Through my own experience, as well as my brother’s, I have learned that this disease won’t stop me, and I even feel more creative since being diagnosed. My wife and I go on trips and we’ve met people who also have Parkinson’s. It’s almost like having another family who understands the disease and what I’m experiencing. Overall, I’ve been lucky. The symptoms of Parkinson’s have been slow to set in, and many of my activities have not been affected. I’m the same as I was before, but I am aware that I can’t ignore the disease. I must work to stay active and learn all I can.

PD research and advancement is of great interest and importance to me. Engineers from Intel and the Michael J. Fox Insight group teamed up to develop wearable technology for individuals with Parkinson’s, including the Pebble watch. The Intel Pebble watch with the Fox Insight App is a device that tracks the way the disease affects the wearer and will help further research and treatment options. If successful, this will be the largest continuous study in the world. I’ve been participating in this study, and my hope is that this will advance medical science’s understanding of the disease and lead to more accurate therapies for people with Parkinson’s.

I will continue to fight. Parkinson’s hasn’t been the end of my world.

Ami Arieli, Age 71, Israel

Living with Parkinson’s

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