After a second carpal tunnel surgery proved ineffective in solving his hand dexterity issues, Barry underwent further testing with a neurologist and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012. A technology teacher at the time, Barry depended heavily on his hands to do his work. Worried that his diagnosis would have a negative impact on his job, Barry kept his Parkinson’s from his colleagues and students for four years. As his symptoms progressed, it was harder to hide his speech, walking, and handwriting, and he ended up going on disability in 2016.
With more time to utilize the resources he was beginning to discover, Barry began attending local meetings and support groups, joined several exercise classes for Parkinson’s, and researched the support available to him. Becoming aware of a number of people who had Parkinson’s allowed Barry to connect with many new faces and build meaningful friendships. After hiding his diagnosis for so long, Barry felt great relief and resolved to share what he continues to learn with others.