Welcome to Jon's Personal Page!
I am participating in Moving Day Los Angeles - Virtual Walk, benefiting the Parkinson's Foundation.
As you know, this year is so much different! Parkinson’s didn’t stop, so we can’t either!
Only our imaginations are the limit of what we can do! The event may be virtual, but we can choose whatever movement we desire to do.
Here is my story:
My story starts in about 2011, when I was hiking with my cousin. He asked me about why my arm was not swinging normally when I walked. I told him at the time, that I thought it might be from an injury and a tear. The next thing I noticed, about the same time, was an excessive amount of saliva, and drooling. Not really that attractive.
Fast forward a few years and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in July of 2014. After my initial shock over the diagnosis, I eventually took on the attitude, of “I can do this! I can slow this down and live well!”
When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, I was working full time as a special education teacher. Within a short period of time, it was necessary for me to have accommodations at work. Eventually, it took longer for me to complete the paperwork that was necessary for my job. I became more stressed and depressed and it was difficult to teach. So, my wife and I made the decision that in 2017, when I turned 55, I would retire.
Speaking of my wife, she is of course my greatest supporter and caregiver.
Here are her thoughts: When I married Jon, it was for better or worse. This is worse than it used to be physically but emotionally Jon has opened up to me more than ever before. We are much more honest about our physical limitations now. I really am fortunate that he has been able to retire early with his full retirement benefits and we have enjoyed this extra time together. His limitations have come on slowly, giving me time to accommodate to his changing needs so I really feel very few limitations to our relationship from Parkinson’s Disease and have found it to be an unexpected blessing to our marriage.
My early treatments for Parkinson’s included medication and exercise/moving. That’s when I first became aware of the Parkinson’s Foundation and its website. I went there and found many resources that helped me understand the symptoms and different medications. The first medications I tried unfortunately made me very sleepy which made driving hazardous.
As I explored the Parkinson’s Foundation website, I discovered the annual Moving Day. I knew it was something I could do especially since it was held so close. As the team captain, I came up with the name “Motivated to Move”. It represented the positivity I felt in the necessity to continue to move in order to stay healthier and slow the progress of the disease.
There have been many challenges over the course of the last six years since my diagnosis, and they have not always been easy to get past, starting with my right arm and lack of movement and the fine motor skills in writing. I also have experienced dizziness. It’s interesting how some of the symptoms come and go. For example, the excess saliva is no longer an issue. I also suffered from tremors in my right arm--now going into my right leg. One of the most distressing symptoms I have developed is REM Sleep Behavioral Disorder. Other issues included cognitive impairment including expressive vocabulary. It also is difficult to recall some names of very familiar people. I have good long-term memory processing, but sometimes short-term memory is affected more.
Some people have asked me, “Are you comfortable in sharing your story?” My answer to them is this, if I can have an impact on someone’s life for the better or if I can encourage anyone with my experiences and story, I am overjoyed to share it! I continue to do the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Moving Day. I certainly hope for many other opportunities to be an advocate for Parkinson’s disease because I believe that change will only come through advocacy, determination and involvement which has become a mission for me and my team. We are “Motivated to Move.”
Speaking of the future, I look at it with some trepidation, but more with a positive attitude towards knowing that I am loved and cared for.
Why Move for Moving Day?
Did you know that someone is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease every 9 minutes in the United States? No one should have to face Parkinson's alone. That is why the Parkinson's Foundation provides a community of support to give people the resources and help they need to live well with Parkinson's.
Support our mission to help every person diagnosed with Parkinson's live their best possible life now. Your gift will help us fund better research, better treatment and better lives.
Please consider being a part of my team or sponsoring me, and get your friends, family and coworkers involved.
Thank you for helping me reach my fundraising goal to support the vital work of the Parkinson's Foundation.
Thank you all,