Bette Willins

Tuxedo, New York

At age 48, Bette noticed a slight tremor in her left hand. She assumed it was normal since, concurrently, her mother of 84 was experiencing the exact same symptom and wrote it off as a sign of aging. They both shook it off until six months later, when they went to see a movement disorder neurologist, who diagnosed both Bette and her mother with Parkinson’s, right there on the spot. Although it felt like Bette was falling apart, her two children gave her the strength to keep going and, unknowingly, inspired her to live well with Parkinson’s. Her thought was, “Yes, I could fall apart, but more importantly, what kind of example could I set for them?” Bette made a conscious decision to provide a positive outlook, persevere, and make lemonade out of the lemons. She strives to be an example to her family and others that when life throws a curve ball (which it often does), you dig your heels in, find your strength, and never, ever lose hope.  

To Bette, living well with Parkinson’s means embracing each day with gratitude and a robust “can-do” attitude. It means choosing optimism and letting the people she loves know that she loves them. It means making every day count. Bette was inspired to become an Ambassador as a way to share with others the things she has learned along this sometimes bumpy road. On a perfect Sunday you can find Bette on the back patio, enjoying the sunshine and a simple lunch with family, on a walk or hike together, or simply sharing the day with one another. Those ordinary family days are her favorite kind. 

Ask Bette About: