In late 2010, Jim was 53 and had just started an exciting new job in Tokyo, Japan. He was too busy to notice other early symptoms of Parkinson’s but began to notice that his left hand was less coordinated in simple tasks like buttoning his shirts. The next year, his left hand symptoms had become more noticeable, but a CT scan showed nothing abnormal. In early 2012 a neurologist in Virginia detected his left side bradykinesia and suspected Parkinson’s. A levodopa test proved a Parkinson’s diagnosis that summer and his journey began at age 55.
Jim’s Parkinson’s symptoms progressed very slowly and had very little impact on his life the first few years. He continued his work and ran three miles a day. By 2015, Jim began to have noticeable gait issues, left side muscle cramping, and voice impacts. Jim noticed that his symptoms would worsen whenever he would fly back and forth from Asia and in times of stress or anxiety.
Jim decided to leave his job in 2017 and focus on his health. Jim currently works with a movement disorder clinic in Dallas to manage his symptoms and medication and has tremendous support of a large, loving family. As an Ambassador, Jim hopes to spread the messages that people with Parkinson’s can live well by becoming well-informed, taking action, and staying engaged in life.