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Home » Managing Illnesses » If You Live with Parkinson’s Disease, You Are Not Alone

Nobody should have to navigate Parkinson’s disease alone. Blake Bell shares his journey with Parkinson’s, from diagnosis to how he thrives today.

Receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is tough. I remember when I went to my doctor and he told me, “You need to see a neurologist.” So, I got an appointment— and he told me I had Parkinson’s disease.

They were words that I wasn’t prepared to hear. At the time I was a 50-year-old business owner of a thriving construction company. 

I thought, “It happens to other people. It can’t happen to me.” And that’s how I spent the first few years: in denial. I was having a hard time adjusting to my symptoms and I withdrew from many normal activities, isolating myself and feeling alone.

After a few years I reached out for support through Parkinson Canada. Sharing and speaking with people that were going through the same experiences that I was helped me come to terms with my new life.

And for the first time since I heard the words “You have Parkinson’s,” I was ready to accept my diagnosis.

I wanted to support Parkinson’s research, raise awareness  about the disease, and ask for help in the search for a cure, so I signed up for the Parkinson Canada SuperWalk. While it started with a simple Facebook post to share my fundraiser, the response was amazing. I got overwhelming support from friends and family. The support I got was part of what started to make me feel comfortable in public again. It motivated me to find ways to help manage my Parkinson’s. I started living a more active lifestyle and I now feel much more in control. Through the SuperWalk and their programs, Parkinson Canada has been a partner in my journey.

I’m walking again this year, and while the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic mean that I’ll be doing so in my small bubble, the connections I feel with others walking across Canada help me remember that I am not alone — and neither are you.

If you or someone you know has Parkinson’s disease, the first step is to reach out. Learn more, and download the e-book You Are Not Alone, at Parkinson Canada or call 1-800-565-3000.

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