Jack & Mary
Janice P Pedler
The Ratowski Family
In the summer of 2001 I had trouble getting started and making progress with projects. This was so obvious that my wife went with me to my next regular doctor’s appointment. She told the doctor that I was slow. Around this time an acquaintance who was a nurse asked my wife if I was Ok. My barber also had asked me if I was feeling Ok. After some blood work done by my doctor and he found nothing that he had been looking for, but he came back with a diagnosis of Parkinson Disease and sent me to a neurologist. I remember for years I would think Parkinson’s isn’t too bad.
In 2002 at retirement age, my wife finally let me purchase my dream sports car that I had been asking for. She had always said we didn’t need 3 vehicles. I had a sports car in the early 60’s when I meet my wife.
In 2004 we did what we thought was impossible. Never camped or driven a motor home we purchased a 38 foot diesel pusher. We put over 50,000 miles on the unit, pulling behind our Honda pilot. After driving the first 2000 miles I found out that I became anxious, so my wife took the wheel thereafter. Thank goodness for that. In 2004 we met 2 couples one from Delray Beach, Florida and one from St Clair Shores, Michigan. We traveled with one or the other and once in a while with both. We traveled all over the United States and into East and West Canada. Today my wife and I often think of the wonderful times we had. We thank God for the foresight into my future and we took the leap to do it.
While making our trips several months a year and shorter trips I was the map reader. Janice said she just drove. In 2010 I couldn’t help her in a safe manor of time. We also would depend on the other couple to help us while traveling. We knew we had to stop traveling in our RV. I also had begun to shuffle and would fall occasionally. I sold my sport car because I could no longer change the gears smoothly. I had pretty much stopped driving too.
In 2011 to keep walking and talking I began to need for physical and speech therapy. I began having difficulty walking without assistance, so we purchase a small go-go scooter that I use along with a cane.
We now stay close to home. I enjoy meeting and socializing with the Parkinson group. We have a Parkinson Awareness Choir that practice or perform once a week.
Two things that I feel I would like to pass along:
1.) If you are diagnosed with Parkinson and you have the desire to do something and can find the means do not put it off for later. Later will come much sooner than you expect.
2.)If you are diagnosed with Parkinson and have a care partner seek out the Parkinson Chapter. In the beginning you can be a tremendous help to the organization and later the chapter is there for you and your family with support.
Bob & Janice
Why Get Involved
The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) continues to bring help and hope to the estimated one million people in the United States, four to six million worldwide, who are living with Parkinson’s disease. NPF is the only organization with a singular focus on improving the quality of care in Parkinson’s disease. NPF programs reach more than one million people a year through its network of 39 chapters, 43 Centers of Excellence and 900 support groups. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $172 million in care, research and support services.
Thank you for helping me reach my fundraising goal to support the vital work of the National Parkinson Foundation.