What has your journey been like since your Parkinson’s diagnosis?
I was diagnosed in 1998. In 2004 I had DBS surgery. I had three young boys and I was exhausted and taking too many medications. After the surgery, I started feeling better physically and emotionally. I started exercising and reading everything about Parkinson’s and what worked and what didn’t.
How do you live well each day?
I exercise every single day. I run, bike, swim, hike, row and walk. I try new things for my physical and emotional health. When people ask me to do new things, even if I’m uncomfortable about the idea of it, I still do it. I believe our brains need to be challenged every day. I also eat right, I’ve lost weight, get plenty of sleep and work hard to avoid stress.
What do you wish you would have known when you were diagnosed that you know now about living with Parkinson’s?
I wish I knew that Parkinson’s would not be a death sentence. When I was diagnosed the doctors told me I had 20 years to live. They were repeating information given out to 65 y/o people. I was 35.
RHONDA FOULD’S PHILOSOPHY
What do you wish everyone living with Parkinson’s knew about living well?
Please exercise. No matter how old you are or your current physical condition, everyone can exercise to improve their circumstances. Just get moving in any and every way you can. I have run 90 marathons, including Boston 6 times, all since I had my deep brain stimulator implanted in 2004. You don’t have to run, but you do need to get moving and stay active.
Rhonda Foulds is a member of Team DPF and is the Team Captain for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend on October 6, 2019. If you want to join Rhonda and staff from the Davis Phinney Foundation for a weekend of supporting Parkinson’s, running and fun, you can register here.
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 Rhonda’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences and victories.