Allan Cole was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD) in 2016, at age 48. Since then, he has devoted significant time and energy to raising awareness, providing education, fundraising, and writing about his own experiences of living with Parkinson’s. He and a friend also created PD Wise, a hub for sharing personal stories, experiences, and wisdom gained from their journeys with Parkinson’s.
Allan is a professor and the academic dean in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin, and a Professor of Psychiatry in the Dell Medical School. An avid writer, he’s published ten books and dozens of articles on a range of topics related to bereavement, anxiety, and spirituality.
Here, he talks with us about the process of his diagnosis; his hesitation in telling his family, friends, and colleagues; his inspiration to give back; becoming a marathoner; staying connected to his community; being a Parkinson’s advocate; staying positive; and more.
You can watch the video below.
Resources and topics Discussed
Counseling Persons with Parkinson’s Disease (available March 2021)
Discerning the Way: Lessons from Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease (coming fall 2021)
Learn More about YOPD
Our YOPD Council series brings together people diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s for a monthly discussion on topics that are unique to their experience, including work, parenting, dating, disability, finances, and much more. You can register for the series here.
And, beginning next month, join us for our new YOPD Women series, which addresses the unique challenges women diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s Disease face during lively, interactive monthly sessions. Register for the series here.