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Cidney Donahoo

I’ve learned how to live for the day.

I was working as a literary specialist at an elementary school when I started noticing a hand tremor. Pretty soon I could hardly write or type. It got so bad that I had to hide it from my coworkers. So when I got my Parkinson’s diagnosis a few years later I wasn’t surprised. I was relieved. Finally, I had a name to my condition. Finally, I could do something about. it.

 After retiring from my job, I decided I needed to reinvent myself. Sure, I had Parkinson’s but I still had a lot of life left. Soon after my diagnosis I did a study that showed how biking can help mitigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s. For the first time in my life, I started prioritizing exercise and well being. It felt great.

 Since my diagnosis, I’ve met some amazing people and have had incredible experiences that I never would have otherwise. Having this disease has shaped me into who I am today. And I’m really happy with the person I am now. So if I could give it back, would I? I don’t think I would.

Parkinson's is a challenge to live with. It is. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. Life can still be wonderful and beautiful and fulfilling. One of the things that I tell people is the biggest blessing from having Parkinson’s, is that I’ve really learned how to live for the day. I don’t worry about what’s going to happen to me in 5, 10, 20 years. I focus on right now. And that’s a great way to live.