Sandra Chu

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

My visible tremor started a month prior to getting pregnant with my daughter in 2018. Looking back, I had a weakness in my left arm and leg that started about six months prior to that. My symptoms became more evident during my pregnancy. As I continued to investigate why this was happening, I got dismissed by many, saying I was “stressed out.” I was eventually diagnosed in 2020 with YOPD.

Finding the Davis Phinney Foundation during the dark time I was in post-diagnosis gave me the education and insight I needed to keep a glimmer of hope that I would regain my quality of life. I had never met anyone diagnosed with YOPD, so finding the online PD community helped me feel seen. 

Living well with Parkinson’s for me is realizing I can’t contribute positively to my family, friends, and community unless I genuinely take care of me. It is finding healthy ways of handling life’s inevitable stressors. It is looking at exercise not as a hassle, but as the gift it truly is to our minds and bodies. Not only do I feel stronger physically than I did pre diagnosis, I believe my mindset and the appreciation I have for the “now” has dramatically changed too. 

I had a lot of opportunities for educating and connecting with people when I worked as a nurse. Hearing from Ambassadors throughout the various DPF resources made me feel seen and connected from afar, so I was excited for the possibility of being that for others. 

I have the most loving and supportive husband, who happens to be my high school sweetheart and best friend. We have an awesome five-year-old daughter and the sweetest labradoodle. I have found a love for cycling on my stationary bike. I have started to enjoy running again, which I had not been comfortable enough to do since when my symptoms started. I have learned just how productive I am when I am listening to a great audiobook, so you can find me listening to one any chance I get.

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