I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 48. Both my father and two uncles had Parkinson’s, but all were diagnosed later in life. I was shocked at the diagnosis, yet I was determined not to be defined by Parkinson’s. I left my busy and extremely demanding practice as a midwife to shift my efforts toward health and wellness. Along with my husband and children, I have learned about Social Security disability and how to live a simpler life.
I co-founded a young-onset Parkinson’s support group with the help of our state resource program and have been involved in speaking and advocacy. I believe that every day is a gift and that we can learn to live with joy and gratitude, even with challenges. Learning to thrive and tap into our resilience is an art and a practice. With time and practice, I am finding joy daily and practicing acceptance of the things I cannot change.
As an Ambassador, I love meeting other people in other parts of the country with shared experiences and sharing wellness resources with my community in Oregon. My first book, Being Well With Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy & Resilience with Your Diagnosis, is coming out soon.
Read Kat’s Moments of Victory® submission here.