Sharon Kishner

Portland, Oregon

I was diagnosed two and a half years ago although my symptoms began years before that. My most prevalent symptoms are not tremor-like symptoms. I have cognitive issues that forced me into an early retirement; that was difficult for my self-esteem at first. Then I discovered I have so much other “work” to do, like getting involved with the Parkinson’s community.

Living well for me means not letting Parkinson’s define me. I have built a support system through community and continue to be involved with activities I enjoyed before my diagnosis. It’s important to advocate for myself and to help others understand how they can advocate for themselves.

I wanted to get more involved with the Parkinson’s community and make more people aware of what the Foundation offers. I was already fundraising on a local level for an organization that provides no-cost counseling, webinars, exercise programs, support groups and many other services for people with Parkinson’s. Now I would like to bring the “Living Well” message into my community and be more involved on a national level.

Being an Ambassador gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of people with Parkinson’s. I started a support for adult children who have a parent with Parkinson’s. The group is getting going with the help of a Foundation staff member who has a parent with Parkinson’s.

I enjoy spending time with my daughters. I also enjoy time with my dog and cat, and I like to read. I like to get out in nature (when weather permits!), and I enjoy photography and cooking. When I’m able, I love going on drives and traveling. I am involved with a local Parkinson’s Resource Organization, I do Rock Steady boxing, and I talk with peers about our Parkinson’s. Becoming an Ambassador for DPF is my greatest accomplishment.

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