This is a pull quote
I was 68. My GP sent me to a neurologist. He said, "Walk over there to that corner," and I did. Then he said, "Walk back. Now, walk over again and walk back," which I did. He said, "You have Parkinson's."
That quick, and I asked, "How do you know?" He said, "You walked all the way over and all the way back two times and didn't move your arms. That's a sure sign of Parkinson's." I was 68.
I don't shake much - a little bit. My biggest problem is my gait and weakness. But it doesn't stop me.
When I feel weak, if I'm busy, if I have something I need to do, I work through it and keep going. I just have to do it slowly.
Sometimes I stand in the shower and start to turn around and can’t. I’ll look down at my feet and think, "Okay now, Jeannie, turn around." That's what they call frozen.
And I have Restless Leg Syndrome at night. That's worse than the Parkinson's as far as I'm concerned. When I get that I can't sleep.
I'm very active for my age. I'm 76 years old now and my mind is fine. I take ballroom dancing and line dancing at least three nights a week. I do it for exercise because I hate to go to gyms.
I've lived a very full life. I was a high school French teacher for 37 years and loved my work. And I've traveled a lot, in Europe and different places. I have a wonderful family. I had wonderful parents. We lived on a farm in southern Ohio.
And I help my son clean old houses up and paint and do all that kind of stuff. We've been cleaning some of the empty lots around here. They're pretty bad.
As I said I'm not giving into it. I'm going to keep up my activities and make sure that I exercise and live a full life. I’ve had a lot of good fortune.
I’ll just keep moving and keep a positive approach.
I just received the book - really beautiful - I love the large format and layout.
Congratulations on achieving a masterpiece. The stories are like Parkinson's itself - some similarities - many differences & the photographs so personal.
Sitting here blubbering with your beautiful book on my lap. Bravo! The portraits are all gorgeous and incredibly moving, and the stories poignant, impactful and affecting. Hope you’re really proud of this profound contribution!