Briefly describe your journey since diagnosis:
December 30, 2014 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. My wife and I cried. It seemed our well designed retirement plans were for naught. December 30, 2014 was also the last pity party we would have.
At the time we were living in Cave Creek Arizona, so we had easy access to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. Through this great community I had the wonderful good fortune to meet Carl Ames – a fellow cyclist and an ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation. Carl told me about Ride The Rockies (RTR) with the Davis Phinney Foundation, and I signed up immediately. Day one of RTR 2015 I had a very freak accident and broke my arm. RTR was over for me before it began – but remember – no pity parties.
We went home and started preparing for 2016. I might not have done 2016 if I had completed 2015 and that would have been a tragedy because my terrific daughter Vicky put together a team of her, my son Vince, her husband Luke and a good friend Christian to ride RTR with me. What an incredible experience! One of the highlights of my life that probably would not have happened but for Parkinson’s. Every day I continue to battle Parkinson’s while finding the good that still comes from the experience.
Paul Colf’s Philosophy
How do you live well each day?
I defy Parkinson’s aggressively. I will not let it dictate what I can do. Sometimes I struggle but I will not go quietly.
What do you wish you would have known when you were diagnosed that you know now about living with Parkinson’s?
I wish I had known that day what a rich community of people touched by Parkinson’s there is and the wonderful resources, such as the Davis Phinney Foundation, that are available.
What do you wish everyone living with Parkinson’s knew about living well?
That you can make a difference in the course of this disease and that you are stronger than 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®.
Your story, like Paul’s, could be featured on our blog and Facebook page so others can learn from your experiences and victories.