Patient, Mother, Needlepoint Enthusiast
I have always been very active. I enjoyed walking and hiking, and hobbies such as needlepoint. In 2000, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and as a result, my life began to change. I had to undergo treatment, and after my surgery I never felt the same. Walking became a challenge, and I noticed my balance never returned. Shortly after I recovered from breast cancer treatment, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
I tried to stay on top of my new diagnosis by enrolling in a “Silver Sneakers” exercise class at the local gym, but I couldn’t keep up with the exercises. I felt discouraged and stopped going. Then my daughter found “Parkinson’s in Balance,” an exercise class designed for people with Parkinson’s, and she encouraged me to try it out. This class was different. It included exercise modifications that helped me participate in the class even though I struggled with balance and movement problems. This was empowering, and I’ve stuck with it. My daughter attends the class with me, and we enjoy the challenge of staying mobile together.
Since my diagnosis, I have not let Parkinson’s stop me from doing the things I love. I still do needlepoint every day and have even been recognized nationally for my work. Sometimes I am disheartened and feel frustration with the changes Parkinson’s brings. But with the support of my daughter and my friends in my exercise class, I have hope that I can continue living life to its fullest.
Jeanne Brown, Age 86, USA
Living with Parkinson’s