I was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s in early 2010 at age 36. In hindsight, I think I had been experiencing Parkinson’s–induced depression for a few years before diagnosis. Soon after being diagnosed, my depression spiraled even more, contributing to the destruction of my marriage. Instead of reaching out for help, I isolated myself, and in doing so, my depression only worsened, and I stopped exercising. After nine years of living in a dark hole, I watched one of the Foundation’s webinars on Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). It convinced me to take the leap. My DBS procedures were completed in November 2019, and from a physical standpoint, the experience has been life changing. However, shortly after I got DBS, Covid hit, and my depression increased again with the isolation. Finally, 18 months later, I found an antidepressant that worked for me. It was as if a light had suddenly turned on. So, I started exercising and attending support group meetings, and the strength I discovered in my Parkinson’s community has been exceptional! I finally know what it is like to live well with Parkinson’s, and as an Ambassador, my goal now is to pay it forward.
When I’m not helping support others living with Parkinson’s, you’ll find me being social and spending time with my kids, friends, and family. I also love exercising daily, being outside, and enjoying Colorado’s mountains!