Keri Shaw

Austin, Texas

For Keri, getting a diagnosis in 2021 was challenging. Being athletic her whole life, her doctors thought little of it when she started to share that something felt off with her body. Keri, however, knew she felt different, and although she could still run and ride, she was not able to do as much, or to the same extent, as she was used to. Because she wasn’t experiencing typical motor symptoms such as a tremor, Keri never considered Parkinson’s as a possible diagnosis. After more than a year and many doctors’ visits, Keri was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD).

As much as she didn’t want the diagnosis of Parkinson’s, Keri found herself relieved to finally know what was happening so that she could make a plan. Going into research mode, Keri connected with as many other people living with YOPD as she could find, and she has discovered that jumping in with two feet really helped her to come to terms with having Parkinson’s. Finding her Parkinson’s family and knowing she has immediate friends who understand exactly what she is experiencing has become her lifeline to living with her diagnosis.

Parkinson’s is full of plot twists. As soon as Keri begins to understand what is happening to her body, something always shifts! Living well means embracing what the moment brings. She cannot stay stuck in the past, nor can she “future trip.” Each day unfolds itself, and Keri’s body is her guide. “I am learning to listen to what my body tells me it needs, and I try my best to honor it and go with the flow.”

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