When Life Gives You Parkinson's
When Life Gives You Parkinson's
Curiouscast
When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is an honest, funny, and engaging podcast chronicling host Larry Gifford’s personal journey with Parkinson’s disease. Gifford, his wife Rebecca, and their son Henry live in Vancouver, British Columbia. Gifford has worked in radio for nearly 30 years. In August 2017 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 45. Now in its second season, When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is a first-hand account of what it is like to live with PD for Gifford, his family, and other members of the worldwide Parkinson’s community. Answering probing questions from co-host Niki Reitmayer and letting listeners eavesdrop in on intimate chats with his wife, Gifford uses humour to diffuse heavy content and give the podcast a hopeful tone. He gives voice to Parkinson’s experts and advocates from around the world and together they openly tackle tough topics. The authentic, frank conversations along with compelling storytelling is what makes this podcast interesting, informative, and enlightening. Special thank you to our partners. Presenting partner is Parkinson Canada, content and promotional partner Spotlight YOPD, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research Parkinson’s IQ + You.
Even Patients Can Push Things Along
This season we are talking a lot about Parkinson’s advocacy. From advocating for yourself with your doctor to people with Parkinson’s communicating with law makers, and others who are educating, participating in research or sharing their story whether through a podcast, a blog, a book, Social Media, magazines, or one on one conversations with a friend. In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, host Larry Gifford introduces you to Parkinson’s advocate Christine Jeyachandran. Christine is an Australian living in Peru with her family. They met in Japan at the World Parkinson Congress where she was a finalist in the video competition. Her video tracked her journey to learn gymnastics with PD and ultimately achieve a handstand. Now Christine brings hope, urgency and education to her Parkinson’s advocacy through her website and videos at www.handstandforparkinson.com. Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to the following people featured in this Ellen Bookman – www.pdboxing.org and on Twitter @luvlivin3 David Ashford Jones – Former Pharmaceutical Executive turned Parkinson’s advocate Jill Carson – PwP, founder of Parkinson’s Wellness Project in Victoria, BC Kitty Fitton – PwP, www.kittyfitton.com                 Michael S. Fitts – Michael J. Fox Patient Council Heather Kennedy – PwP, a.k.a. Kathleen Kiddo, featured in this previous episode on the darkness of depression. Dr. Stuart Factor - Professor of Neurology, Director of the Movement Disorders Program and Vance Lanier Chair of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000, on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada Thanks also to our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  PD Avengers - We want to help end Parkinson’s disease. Join us. World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain.   Credits Dila Velazquez – Story Producer Greg Schott – Sound Design See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 17
47 min
The Doctor - Patient Partnership
In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, listen in as Larry Gifford gets his sixth month check up with his neurologist. Larry, his wife Rebecca and co-host Niki Reitmayer discuss the importance of trust and communication in building a relationship with your neurologist and all the other members of your care team – even your partner and your friends. Plus, saying “no” to a doctor can be difficult, but it is an important option to use when you do not agree with the prescribed treatment plan. Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to the following people featured in this episode… Jonathon Squires, MD Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health Heather Kennedy, #WPC2022 Ambassador Vicki Dillon, #ParkieandProud, GDNF’er Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000, on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada Thanks also to our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  PD Avengers - We want to help end Parkinson’s disease. Join us. World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain.   Credits Dila Velazquez – Story Producer Rob Johnston – Sound Design   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 3
43 min
Preventing Parkinsons Disease
In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, three of the authors of the book Ending Parkinson’s Disease explain how Parkinson’s is preventable. WLGYP’s host Larry Gifford interviewed Bas Bloem MD, PhD, Ray Dorsey MD, and Michael S. Okun MD for a Parkinson Canada webinar. Larry, his wife Rebecca and co-host Niki Reitmayer listen, learn and react to the author’s frank discussion of Parkinson’s disease, why they believe it is preventable, who is at risk, how COVID-19 maybe triggering the onset of PD, and why more and more experts believe it to be a global pandemic.  Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to the following people featured in this episode… Bas Bloem MD, Phd, Ray Dorsey, MD and Michael S. Okun, MD – details on their book are available at www.endingpd.ord Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000, on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada Thanks also to our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  PD Avengers - We want to help end Parkinson’s disease. Join us. World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 20
49 min
When You Know It’s Time to Fire Your Neurologist
In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, you will learn when and how to switch neurologists and what doctor’s find annoying about you. It may be hard to believe, but doctors do not know everything about treating Parkinson’s disease. From ridiculous diagnosis stories, tragic treatment options, lack of empathy, the God complex and life altering misdiagnosis, many people with Parkinson’s have been through wringer and ultimately fired their neurologist.   The doctor-patient relationship is critical for treating Parkinson’s. “It’s really important to have someone you can talk to openly and honestly and who listens to you,” says Dr. Rachel Dolhun, a board certified movement disorder specialist and Vice President of Medical Communications for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. “Parkinson's is really all about expressing how things are going on a daily basis, how your medicines are or aren't working, and how new symptoms are coming up or how symptoms are changing.” In addition to Dr. Dolhun, this episode features conversations with a number of people with Parkinson’s including Dave Clark, Gil Thelan, and Jeanette Fisher-Pynn. Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to the following people featured in this episode… Dr. Rachel Dolhun – Board Certified Movement Disorder Specialist and Vice President of Medical Communications for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Hosts “Ask the MD” Blog and Videos.   Dave Clark – PwP, former Sky Sports television announcer, Parkinson’s advocate and fundraiser. Gil Thelen – PwP, former President and Publisher of The Tampa Tribune, and author of “Counterpunch: Duking It Out With Parkinson’s.” Jeanette Fisher-Pynn – PwP, and featured in our “Misdiagnosis” episode Also appearing… Ellen Bookman – www.pdboxing.org and on Twitter @luvlivin3 David Ashford Jones – Former Pharmaceutical Executive turned Parkinson’s advocate Jill Carson – PwP, founder of Parkinson’s Wellness Project in Victoria, BC Kitty Fitton – PwP, www.kittyfitton.com      Michael S. Fitts – Michael J. Fox Patient Council Heather Kennedy – PwP, a.k.a. Kathleen Kiddo, featured in this previous episode on the darkness of depression. Dr. Stuart Factor - Professor of Neurology, Director of the Movement Disorders Program and Vance Lanier Chair of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000, on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada Thanks also to our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  PD Avengers - We want to help end Parkinson’s disease. Join us. World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 7
53 min
Back to the beginning
In this premiere episode of season three of the podcast, my wife Rebecca, co-host Niki Reitmayer and I discuss what life it like with Parkinson’s three years after diagnosis and what impact has COVID-19 had on us and others with PD. Communication came up as a relatively new and big issue in the Gifford home. For 20 years, our instinctive interactions were a fun and easy part of our relationship. Now I take things literal when Rebecca is being figurative, she has to repeat herself over and over again, and I get trapped in my Parkinson’s bubble at certain times of the day. “It gets frustrating,” says Rebecca. “Because, I've repeated myself a couple of times on something and it's still not retained. For me, it's re learning patience and understanding and knowing that it's not just that he's too busy and he's not paying attention or whatever. No, it's the Parkinson's.” Larry and Rebecca also share how they are working together and individually to improve the communication glitches the Parkinson’s is causing.  Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to… Omotola Thomas www.parkinsonafrica.com Sally Bromley https://oxfordparkinsons.org.uk/ Jayne Calder https://www.raise-a-million-for-gdnf.org/ For more info on our presenting partner Parkinson Canada head to http://www.parkinson.ca/ The toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 Or follow them on Twitter Parkinson Canada       @ParkinsonCanada Thanks also to our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  PD Avengers - We want to help end Parkinson’s disease. Join us. World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 22
48 min
Not just “care givers”, we are Partners in Parkinson’s
In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, my wife and partner in Parkinson’s, Rebecca Gifford, and I explore the important role caretakers play in lives of people with Parkinson’s. We visit with people we met through season two to discuss the balance between being a spouse and a caregiver; we wrestle with what to call these important people and wonder why the medical and scientific communities do not listen to them more closely and tap them for real knowledge about living with Parkinson’s disease. Through the discussions, it has become clear to me that our partners are amazing people who care for us and prepare, as best they can, to deal with all of our unpredictable PD symptoms. And they also have responsibility to run the household, sometimes over small children and pets, and then their own self-care, their own interests and careers get whatever time is left over. Usually very little, if any time is ever leftover. Sure, we’ll travel while we can and set off on new adventures as COVID, money, and time allows. Life doesn’t end with a diagnosis. It changes. It constantly changes. As years roll on, these amazing people will bear witness to their partner’s silent suffering as Parkinson’s slowly traps the person they love inside a body that will no longer obey.  Each minute… Each day…  Each year... Parkinson’s tightens its grip. In my case, the disease has already begun to restrict my ability to be present at times and to empathize.  Slowly, this relentless, degenerative neurological brain disorder causes disorder in my brain. It steals my thoughts and my voice. In time, I know Rebecca will be there to support, care, challenge me and others, and advocate on our behalf. A writer by trade, she will find clarity and might in putting pen to paper, invoking the compassion of Quan Yin and just the right words to strike like lightning and reverberate like thunder.  There are millions of people like my wife who have untapped knowledge and a lived experience with Parkinsons that researchers and neurologists could leverage in making life better for people with Parkinson’s until that day when we find a way to end it. We should all demand to hear what they have to say. Immediately. We are all up against the clock. Follow me, Larry Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Thank you to: Tim & Sheryl Hague Check out their holistic Parkinson’s center at “U-Turn Parkinson’s” and follow Tim on Twitter and Instagram @TimHagueSr   Deana Grinnell Jimmy Choi – follow Jimmy on Twitter @JCThr33 and on Instagram @jcfoxninja  Gila Bronner – Director of Sex Therapy Services at Sheba Medical Center. Ellen Bookman – Ellen is very active in her PD boxing community www.pdboxing.org. Follow Ellen on Twitter @luvlivin3 Joe & Sarah Possenti and to my wife and partner in Parkinson’s Rebecca Gifford. Follow her on Twitter @RebeccaJGifford and on Instagram @loveandmud   Our presenting partner is Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/ The toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 Follow them on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada Find the new Parkinson Clinical Guideline www.parkinsonclinicalguideline.ca Our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Navigating Parkinson’s and COVID-19 Podcast: Check out the limited series podcast on COVID-19 and Parkinson’s that I am hosting with Dr. Rachel Dolhun for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  WPC2022- Save the date for the sixth World Parkinson Congress, June 7 to 10, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain in 2022. The only inclusive scientific conference opens its doors to people with Parkinson’s and families.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 23
59 min
ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen
In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, I interviewed the founder of ESPN, Bill Rasmussen, who publicly announced his Parkinson’s in 2019. Bill was diagnosed six years ago, he is still active and still travels around the country giving talks to students and business leaders. At first, he says, he tried to hide his symptoms during his speeches. “My left hand is the one that has the biggest twitch, so to speak. I thought I'd keep it behind the podium or this or that, and after one event, they sent me a tape and I looked and that wasn't very effective. And so at that point, I said, "You know what? This is a fact of life. It's not anything to be embarrassed about. People catch cold, people break their leg, people knock their head up against a wall or whatever. And that's okay so why isn't Parkinson's okay?" The 87-year old takes medication each day, strives to keep operating at the same level as before his Parkinson’s diagnosis, and still wakes up each morning with a positive thought. As you might expect from the founder of ESPN, he has an analogy in regards to PD. He says,”The researchers are like the official scorekeepers up in the booth, but we are the players on the field. We’re walking through it every day. They can study my brain, but I have to use my brain. And they can study your brain, but you have to use your brain to get through each day. And those are the things that I think if we can convince people when you hear the word Parkinson's, you don't stop thinking, you don't stop living or any of those things. You adjust and keep on keeping on, as they say.” My interview with Bill Rasmussen is featured as part of limited series of podcasts produced by the Michael J Fox Foundation, co-hosted by Rachel Dolhun, and me. All the episodes can be found online at The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research website. Follow me, Larry Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 9
41 min
Health and Technology
In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson's, I explore how the collision of health, technology and innovation in the private sector is revolutionizing approaches to measuring brain activity and treat brain related issues from Parkinson’s to major brain injuries and concussions. A major part of having Parkinson's disease is finding out what matches you in terms of diet, exercise, pharmaceuticals, therapies and relationships so you can manage your symptoms and maintain the best quality of life for as long as possible. But, are you aware of everything that's out there that you could be using? I wasn't. From hand-made, steel stationary bikes designed especially for people with Parkinson’s to a tongue stimulator to improve your balance and walking gait, I feel as if I’ve found a secret Bat-cave of cool, technology that I never knew existed. All of it comes with a price tag and insurance does not cover it. DISCLAIMER: I am not a spokesperson for these companies or products, they are not clients and have not paid for this placement. These products and services are part of my journey in exploring all the ways to live my best life with Parkinson’s. First, the stationary bike. It is called the Theracycle. Joe Possenti bought a Theracycle a year ago and uses it most days. He has had Parkinson’s for 12-years. He told me it’s a game-changer for him. The 200-pound, motorized cycle is designed to improve the lives of people with degenerative brain diseases and works by having assisted pedaling and handlebars that move like an elliptical machine and a the rowing machine. The most popular Theracycle costs $4,800 ($6,700 CAD), is delivered free in the continental United States and comes with a money-back guarantee. There is quite an operation underway in Surrey B.C. Recently, I toured The Health and Technology District, which is located across the street from Surrey Memorial Hospital. It is the brainchild of Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, a neuroscientist and entrepreneur. Dr. D’Arcy says there are 75 tech companies and 96 medical specialists integrated, collaborating and bumping into each other in one building alone. As I toured the facility, I realized I was not aware how many available treatments there are for the symptomatic issues of Parkinson’s. For instance, I saw two really cool therapies for treating gait issues so people can learn to walk normally again. The Lokomat, at NeuroMotion Physical Therapy, reminds me of Iron Man. Patients slip on these huge robotic legs strapped to a treadmill. Through forced and repeated motion, new neuropathways are created which retrains your brain’s communication to your legs and feet. The second treatment is called PoNS, which is short for Portable Neuro-modulation Stimulator.  This lightweight portable device slips around your neck rather snug and hanging off one end is a rectangle pad which goes into your mouth. It stimulates your tongue. Sonya Brody is a neuroscientist and the Vice President of services at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic, and she told me we all have 12 cranial nerves that come off the back of our brain and two of them connect to the front, one-third of your tongue. One of the ongoing issues with treating Parkinson’s is the measurement tools for the disease progression and executive function are too subjective. Dr. D’Arcy created The NeuroCatch™ to take the guesswork out of measuring what is going on inside your head. It’s a six-minute test that measures auditory sensation, basic attention, and cognitive processing. Not only helpful with measuring brain function in people with Parkinson’s, but D’Arcy is working with hockey clubs to conduct the 6-minute test during games to determine if a player has a concussion or not. Another machine affectionately referred to as the “barf box,” measures balance. The NeuroCom® SMART Balance Master® measures how well your eyes, inner ear and muscles and joints are working together to maintain balance. The client stands in the center of a metal plate surrounded by three colourful walls. Through a series of short tests the plate moves, the walls tilt, and eyes are sometimes open and sometimes closed. During my tour, I tested both my brain function and my balance. My scores on both systems were less than impressive, which is no surprise. But, what is a surprise is that these treatments and tools exist and I was oblivious to them until now. It makes me wonder what else is out there and available to the Parkinson’s community. The different tests and treatments cost anywhere from $150 for one test on the NeuroCom® SMART Balance Master® or reportedly between $14,000 to $16, 000 for 14 weeks of treatments with the PoNS device. Please comment by leaving us a voice message here: https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons. Follow me, Larry Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Thank you to: The Health & Technology District Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, Neuroscientist and Co-Founder of the Health and Technology District Anne Shaw, Clinic Manager at Neuromotion Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sonia Brodie, Neuroscientist and VP of Services at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic Matieu Gagnon, Kinesiologist at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic Theracycle Rich Bloomenthal, Head of Sales at Theracyle Joe and Sarah Possenti Al Coen, Coen Communications; Cameraman, Video and Audio producer, Editor, big supporter of the pod, and all around great guy. and to my wife and partner in Parkinson’s Rebecca Gifford. Our presenting partner is Parkinson Canada. Its toll-free hotline is 1-800-565-3000. Follow Parkinson Canada on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada. Find the new Parkinson Clinical Guideline at www.parkinsonclinicalguideline.ca. Our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You — A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Spotlight YOPD — The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. WPC2022 — Save the date for the sixth World Parkinson Congress, June 7 to 10, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. The only inclusive scientific conference opens its doors to people with Parkinson’s and families.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 26
54 min
Parkinson’s, Parenting, and the Coronavirus Pandemic
In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, my wife and partner in Parkinson’s, Rebecca Gifford and I share how COVID-19 is affecting our family. From managing stress and PD symptoms to becoming accustomed to living well during a time of uncertainty, we are all learning many lessons. Here are five of the lessons that Rebecca and I have learned thus far: My Parkinson’s symptoms are less intense when I work from home compared to when I go to the office. This is a revelation that I probably would not have discovered without the pandemic forcing me to work remotely. I have already started discussing this with my company to figure out what my new reality could be when we are through the social distancing demands and most employees are encouraged to return to the office. Telemedicine is long overdue. I didn’t “go” to my last neurology check-up, I logged into it from my kitchen table. I feel like I had the full attention of my doctor and there we no interruptions for signatures, questions or updates on other patients from the nurses. It was just the doctor, Rebecca and me. If you live hours away from a neurologist or movement disorder specialist or just have difficulty getting from your home to anywhere, telemedicine makes a lot of sense. I hope it is here to stay. Connecting with community can be energizing, supportive and inspiring. From one on one FaceTime video calls with family and friends or group video chats with colleagues and social media “friends” who, until now, we had only met through tweets and Facebook posts. I’m grateful for the time, attention and community so many people have offered with an open heart and open mind. I also love that so many free exercise, yoga, and boxing classes are now being made available online to keep us active and exercising despite being cooped up inside. Managing Parkinson’s symptoms has better prepared people with PD and care partners for COVID-19. The uncertainty of Parkinson’s forces us to approach life minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day. We make plans with the best of intentions and cancel them more often than we would like because a symptom flares up or exhaustion overwhelms us. Most people are not accustomed to have so much lack of control of their life. Many are resisting the isolation, are angry, frustrated, and are desperately grasping for control of something. The Parkinson’s community can be role models for others on how to let go and embrace what comes in each moment.   It is exciting to see how when the world decides to make something a priority, Government and regulatory red tape magically disappears and the finest minds of the world collaborate to solve a single issue. In this case, it is the race to creating a vaccination for COVID-19. Now that we know it is possible, I propose after COVID-19 is under control, we take this model and aim those global resources and all of that passion and urgency on to finding a cure for Parkinson’s… and then ALS, MS, Alzheimer’s and all the rest. In the podcast, we discuss these and many other lessons and observations COVID-19 has thrust upon us. Please take time to share what lessons, observations and coping mechanisms you have discovered during these unprecedented times by leaving a voice message here:  https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons Follow me, Larry Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmayer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to my wife and partner in Parkinson’s Rebecca Gifford. Our presenting partner is Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/ The toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 Follow them on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada Find the new Parkinson Clinical Guideline www.parkinsonclinicalguideline.ca Our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  WPC2022- Save the date for the sixth World Parkinson Congress, June 7 to 10, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain in 2022. The only inclusive scientific conference opens its doors to people with Parkinson’s and families.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 12
48 min
From Rock Bottom to American Ninja Warrior
In this special Parkinson’s Awareness Month episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, I chat with Jimmy Choi. Jimmy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s seventeen years ago. He ignored it for eight years. He took his pills every day, but he didn’t talk about it, he ignored it, he hid it and lied about it to friends and family. He was quite certain himself that the Parkinson’s diagnosis was probably wrong. “I convinced myself that one day I'm going to wake up and my doctor is going to tell me that, ‘Oh I'm sorry Mr. Choi, we made a mistake.” Jimmy continues his fantasy, “You actually have a tumor in your head. Once we remove it you're gonna be perfectly fine.’” Jimmy is stubborn. It takes a lot to change his position. But, Parkinson’s will not be ignored. Over the course of eight years, gradual changes happen on a daily basis. Insomnia, rigidity, and fatigue were all taking a toll on him. Parkinson’s disease pushed Jimmy to the edge. And he fell. “I was walking with a cane. I was no longer active. And as if things weren't bad enough, I was snapping at my family, screaming at my kids, and sitting around really not contributing to the daily activities of a household. I was walking down the stairs with my then 8 month old son Mason and we fell down the stairs.” His wife Cheryl and their daughter Karina watched in horror. At that moment, Jimmy made a decision that would change his life forever. He knew he was going to work hard to become the dad and husband his family deserved. He also began to participate in clinical research trials. It was during those trials, Jimmy realized exercise was a component of every trial he participated in and when he exercised he felt better. On his own, he began to take walks around the neighbourhood with his cane. And before too long, he was walking without it. His walk become a jog and his jog trained him for a 5k. Jimmy successfully transformed his stubborn resistance to Parkinson’s into determination, positivity and persistence in living an active, healthy life with the disease. In the past seven years, Jimmy has participated in over 100 half marathons, 15 full marathons, one ultra-marathon, six Grand Fondo rides, multiple Spartan Races and countless 5K and 10K runs. He became a high profile Parkinson’s advocate when he competed on American Ninja Warrior. Through his events, Jimmy has raised more than $250,000 for Parkinson's research. You don’t have to be Jimmy Choi when you’re exercising, but you can be Jimmy Choi in how you approach your Parkinson’s disease. He takes his PD one day, and sometimes one hour, at a time. His mantra is, “make today a little better than yesterday and make tomorrow a little bit better than today.”   Knowing Jimmy Choi is in the fight against Parkinson’s, makes today better yesterday already. Please comment by leaving us a voice message here: https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons Follow me, Larry Gifford  Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod Instagram: @parkinsonspod Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmayer Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer Thank you to my wife and partner in Parkinson’s Rebecca Gifford. Also, thank you to the following contributors and guests. Follow Jimmy Choi on twitter and instagram Our presenting partner is Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/ The toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 Follow them on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada Find the new Parkinson Clinical Guideline www.parkinsonclinicalguideline.ca Our content and promotional partners Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  WPC2022- Save the date for the sixth World Parkinson Congress, June 7 to 10, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain in 2022. The only inclusive scientific conference opens its doors to people with Parkinson’s and families.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 28
53 min
Load more