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Fred's Story

Patient, Grandfather, Engineer

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when I was 77, and my motto is “never give up.” I have always been busy and engaged in all life has to offer. Before I retired, I was an engineer at Boeing for 47 years. I volunteered in my children’s school when they were growing up, and I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and helping others reach their potential. Although my diagnosis has brought on many new obstacles, and I struggle with walking, writing, and speaking, I have the willpower to stay motivated and find ways to challenge myself.

As part of my plan to manage the symptoms of PD, I take a Parkinson’s fitness class. Not only do I enjoy the benefits of physical movement, I feel energized by the connection and companionship of my classmates. I find inspiration and hope through these friendships and, though Parkinson’s has been a difficult experience, the Parkinson’s community helps me stay positive.

In addition to developing new friendships, Parkinson’s has strengthened my bond with my family, and I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren. When my family is unable to come and visit, I take advantage of today’s technology, which allows me to video chat and send text messages to remain close to my loved ones.

Each day, I concentrate on using whatever therapies are available to alleviate my symptoms and this helps slow the progression of the disease. Although I need to use a wheelchair, I’ll continue to fight the disease and encourage others to do the same.

Fred Thomas, Age 81, USA

Living with Parkinson’s

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