What has your journey been like since your Parkinson’s diagnosis?
After my diagnosis, I realized I had a choice about how I would navigate the rest of my life. Would I let myself be defined by a diagnosis, lay down and hide? Or would I choose to fight? I have chosen to fight. After leaving my demanding career as a midwife having delivered over 800 babies, I have learned to paint and box. My husband and I have found ways to travel as often as we can, and we sketch and paint in travel journals. I write a blog and co-facilitate a young onset Parkinson’s (YOPD) support group.
How do you live well each day?
I choose joy. Mindfulness and gratitude are a daily practice for me. My journal contains notes of gratitude for each day. Staying focused on living each day and learning not to worry about tomorrow helps to keep my focus on the now. I spend time with family and friends, box, volunteer, paint, play piano and sing.
What do you wish you would have known when you were diagnosed that you know now about living with Parkinson’s?
I would have liked to have learned more about young onset resources. I would have liked to hear from others my age who were living and thriving with Parkinson’s.
KAT HILL’S PHILOSOPHY
What do you wish everyone living with Parkinson’s knew about living well?
Living well is a choice. Living well, with or without Parkinson’s is a decision and a mindset. I can have a great day even with lots of symptoms. Learning to find joy in small moments, writing notes about gratitude, learning to make goals and meet them, taking care of one’s body and mind all contribute to well being. For me, finding and contributing to my community is also vital. The Davis Phinney Foundation is an integral part of my community.
Kat Hill is one of the newest members of our cohort of Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassadors. Our Ambassadors are “living well leaders” who share resources and information throughout their local and regional communities to help people take action and improve their quality of life with Parkinson’s. Connect with one of our Ambassadors and begin your journey today of living well with Parkinson’s!
SHARE YOUR VICTORY
Each month, we spotlight someone from our Parkinson’s community who embodies living well today – what we call Moments of Victory®.
Your story, like Kat’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences and victories.
Kat, Beautiful article, thank you for being so encouraging.
Not sure if you remember but about a year ago after I was diagnosed you gave a shared friend (SC) your cell number to give to me. Eventually I called you and you helped me to have hope. Thank you.
Thank you for reading, Suzanne. I’m glad you have experienced the greatness of Kat like all of us have.
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