Patty Wargo

Center Valley, Pennsylvania

“I think you have Parkinson’s,” said the first neurologist I visited.

“How will I know if I do or do not have Parkinson’s,” I asked.

“If the symptoms go away, you’ll know the Sinemet is working,” the neurologist said.

End of discussion. No research, no informational pamphlets, and no local or national resources were offered. I left the office and headed home, where I immediately began researching alternatives to medication and familiarizing myself with the stages of Parkinson’s. That was 17 years ago. Since then, I have seen multiple neurologists and had the opportunity to undergo Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery in October 2015.

When I was first diagnosed, my husband and I had difficulty finding a support group that met in the evening. At the time, I was still working as a high school trauma counselor. Through persistence, we were finally able to locate a monthly evening support group we could both attend. The connective thread of having Parkinson’s began a tapestry of relationships that continues to grow.

In my approach to life, living well with Parkinson’s can be achieved through exercise, connection, having a positive attitude, self-advocacy, education, mindfulness, and meditation, to name a few. What excites me most about being an Ambassador is the opportunity to share my experiences with others who may be struggling to understand what’s happening to them physically and emotionally while providing them with a safe place to be heard and understood.

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