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Lucky to have P.D.?

May 17, 2012

When I was in my late teens, my father was diagnosed with psoriasis.  I worried about him all the time; imagined becoming a doctor so I could help.  I read everything I could about the disease.  I felt helpless and frustrated.  So I think I have some insight as to how my son worries about me.

A few days ago we were talking about my health and PD.  At some point I told him I was lucky to have PD.  He did a double take.  “Lucky?! How could that possibly be lucky?!”

“Well Jim, look at it this way: PD has done a lot for me.  It has made me known to a lot of people.  I’ve been interviewed on the radio numerous times.  Newspapers and magazines have written articles about me. It has enabled me to help others with the disease.  It has given me strength.  Because of PD, I rode my bicycle across the US and Alaska.  I have made new friends and strengthen bonds with old friends.

Yes, it is a bad disease.  Yes, it has taken away many things  Yes, in the end it will win. But I battle it everyday and I’m not doing too bad.  I’ve raised a lot of money to fight it.   And it makes me appreciate life and being healthy.  No one knows what life holds for us.  We think we do, we try to control it.  But life gives and takes what it will.  That’s all there is to it.”

Finally, to quote Michael J. Fox: “It doesn’t hurt.”

Yes, I wish I didn’t spaz and weave all around.  But Parkinson’s is my gift from God and I make the best of it that I can.  And frankly, I don’t think I do too bad.  I am a lucky man.


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  1. Anonymous permalink

    And a wise teacher you are too.

  2. Maria Panlilio permalink

    And PD brought you to God (you didn’t believe in Him before).
    I’ve always believed in miracles.
    More power to you.

  3. Doug – it was a pleasure to meet you at the Davis Phinney Foundation Dinner at Copper Mountain. Saw you in front of the tent after the ride, but didn’t catch up with you. Would enjoy chatting more or visiting sometime when I’m in Cleveland to see my brother. My e-mail address is

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