Briefly describe your journey since diagnosis:
Since diagnosis, I’ve moved five times within three different states. We’ve downsized and sent a kid off to college. My husband retired and I sold my business. I became an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation. We started a blog and plan to travel. I stopped wearing make up, coloring my hair and wearing high heels. And I got a tattoo!
How do you live well each day?
I live well every day by planning for the future. My life is far from over. My kids are growing up and as they move to college, my husband, Alan and I are planning to travel the world and chronicle our adventures with Parkinson’s on our blog, It’s a Parkie World. We won’t be moving fast, as many travel bloggers do. Instead, we’ll spend three to six months in different cities learning about the people, culture, food, language and sights in countries all over the world. We lived overseas before I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and look forward to taking it slower this time to really immerse ourselves in the experiences.
Jill Ater’s Philosophy
What do you wish you would have known when you were diagnosed that you know now about living with Parkinson’s?
I’m an extrovert by nature and get my “recharge” by being around others. I knew Parkinson’s would me slow down somewhat, but it didn’t as much as I’d feared. I also wish I had trusted my gut more about doctors. It took me five neurologists to find someone who was the right fit for me and my family.
Having Parkinson’s presents challenges, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life. Things will change, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s just different.
Jill Ater is part of our cohort of Davis Phinney Foundation Ambassadors. Our Ambassadors are volunteers who share resources and information throughout their local and regional communities to help people take action and improve their quality of life with Parkinson’s. Connect with one of our Ambassadors and begin your journey today of living well with Parkinson’s!
Share Your Victory
Each month, we spotlight someone from our Parkinson’s community who embodies living well today – what we call Moments of Victory®.