Kate was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in May 2018 and has since invested as much time and effort as possible in learning all she can about the condition. Having a bachelor’s and master’s in nursing has proven useful while browsing Parkinson’s research reports, and her educational background has given Kate a unique perspective on her diagnosis and living well with Parkinson’s. After retiring a year and a half after her diagnosis, she realized that her experiences might allow her to become an effective advocate, inspiration, and resource for other individuals living with Parkinson’s.
For Kate, living well with Parkinson’s means living well in the present moment, despite whatever challenges or curve balls life might put in her path. While Kate has her down days, she makes a great effort to be as present as possible, leading her friends to describe her as outgoing and optimistic. Kate’s retirement motto is, “live by example.”
Kate practices a dual approach to living with her Parkinson’s. A mixture of acceptance and pushing the envelope helps Kate to listen to her body’s needs while trying new activities, endeavors, and challenging experiences. For example, in June 2019, she hiked 80+ miles on the El Camino trail in Portugal and Spain, a life-changing experience that taught her that “barriers” are often fluid or elastic. Kate hopes to undertake similar excursions in the near future.