Allyson, a retired professor, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in April 2014, a few months after her husband of 46 years passed away. Because of his illness, Allyson didn’t notice the changes in her own body: her gait had become awkward, sometimes her right leg shuffled, and her body had become stiff. All of which she soon discovered were symptoms of her Parkinson’s. After coming to grips with her diagnosis, Allyson’s optimism helped her to commit to doing anything and everything she could to fight back.
Devoting her time to researching Parkinson’s, Allyson discovered that exercise was a proven treatment to stave off her symptoms. Now, Allyson makes sure exercise is a part of her daily routine, no matter where she is. Discovering that connecting with others was also a significant part of living well with her diagnosis, Allyson started her own Parkinson’s support group in 2016. The group of over 45 has become her family over the past four years. She enjoys spending time with her friends by going on walks, grabbing a meal together, or attending events at their local senior center.
For Allyson, living well means having a positive attitude and doing all that she can to fight Parkinson’s. She wakes up every morning and makes a conscious decision to have a good day, and then she does.