Doug Bahniuk rode his bike in the summer of 2008 from Boise, Idaho to Denver, Colorado, traversing some 900 miles and 12,000 vertical feet. Doug is 55 years old and lives in Ohio; a long-time cyclist, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004.
Doug describes his greatest challenges as not feeling sorry for himself and not giving up. He writes, “Sometimes it’s a temptation. After all, depression is a common part of the disease. I know where this thing is going; I’m a biomedical engineer. So many people depend on me – my employees, my family, my 10 year-old son – and I know that to them, I am a leader. So I try to lead by example; I take the hardest job, I don’t slack off, and I don’t want anyone’s pity. I still skydive and I continue to hunt. I just try to adapt (like using one finger to type) and say to myself, ‘This is just a new phase of life, I can handle it.’”
“There is no denying that Parkinson’s makes life hard. Using my hands can be difficult, besides uncontrollably shaking, they often go numb. A couple of times I’ve lost almost all the strength in my left hand. But I can overcome these little things. When I start shaking, I wait until it stops. When I lose strength, I improvise however I can. It just takes a lot of patience.”
My philosophy about Parkinson’s is not to let it dominate my life. By itself, it’s not going to kill me, at least not yet. It might cause me some difficulties on a ride, but I’m not going to worry about it, at least I’m doing something I love. Riding is my way of living the best way I can every day. – Doug
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 Doug’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences and victories.