State College, Pennsylvania
Gretchen’s journey began in December 2018, two weeks before her birthday. While it wasn’t an official diagnosis, it was a start to finding answers. Eventually, Gretchen received the official diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson’s with ataxia. After a few weeks of feeling sorry for herself, Gretchen joined a Facebook group to learn more about her diagnosis. Through her involvement in that group, Gretchen was inspired to start the <em>”I AM” The Face Of Project</em> to share the beautiful faces and stories of those living with Parkinson’s.
While connecting with individuals for her project, Gretchen learned about the Davis Phinney Foundation and attended The Victory Summit® event in Philadelphia in 2019. There, Gretchen met some amazing and fun individuals who were living their lives well with Parkinson’s. Following that experience, Gretchen knew she wanted to be a part of the Foundation to show people just how strong they can be in the fight.
Today, Gretchen finds joy in reading, spending time with her bubbies (her dogs), cooking, baking, thrift shopping, and fashion. She finds living well in the faces of the people she meets, their smiles, and the differences she can make in their lives.