I had the honor of testifying with the MJFF to my local congressman, Raul Grijalva’s staff about his co-sponsoring this important legislation. Here’s what I said.
This is Richard. (I shared his photo)
We met on a Friday night in 1991 through friends. He stayed the weekend, moved in on Monday and we were married 5 months later. He was my soul mate and still is. In our wedding vows I said “Grow old with me Richard, the best is yet to come.”
We had many good years, but we did not grow old together. In 2010 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. His friends were the first to notice. His hand would shake when he put his golf ball down on the tee.
At first, I thought “So what, no big deal, his hand shakes.” Ha. How naïve I was. Within a year he couldn’t take care of our banking anymore because it was too cognitively challenging, he became paranoid and extremely anxious, his arms didn’t swing, his feet shuffled, his face lost its expression, his voice was so soft we couldn’t hear him, and his words didn’t come out right.
He became depressed and suicidal. He had hallucinations and not the nice 1960s kind. He was scared all the time, and so was I. It was heartbreaking. He couldn’t drive anymore, or even find his way around our small house. I had to quit my job to take care of him.
By 2014 he had to move into assisted living. He was incontinent and couldn’t feed or shower himself. He passed away at the age of 65 in March of 2017 of pneumonia, an old man’s best friend as the saying goes. His life had become unbearable, and he was more than ready to leave this world behind. I was a widow when I turned 60 a few months later.
Now, 6 years later, I’m still recovering from financial and emotional loss.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s. There is no happy ending for people like Richard. But you can change that. Please, please do everything in your power to change this harsh reality for Richard, for me and millions of others. Thank you.
To learn more about The National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act, please click on the below link.
You will find my book Parkinson’s: A Love Story with Dementia for Dessert on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Parkinsons-Love-Story-Dementia-Dessert-ebook/dp/B07K4RLC2D/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542135434&sr=8-1&keywords=Parkinson%27s+A+Love+Story+with+Dementia+for+Dessert&dpID=41xS3edPH0L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch Your feedback and reviews are most welcome.
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