Ryan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1996 at the age of 47. He worked as a physical education teacher and administrator for 23 years. Two and a half years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he was forced to take a long-term disability health leave from his profession. This led to a major slip into depression, a fractured marriage and a stage of “Who am I and what is happening to me?!?” After joining a Parkinson’s support group, improved medication and some valuable counseling, he found a renewed focus on life and living with Parkinson’s.
Ryan’s active involvement in events and speaking engagements outside of Parkinson Canada has brought him a wealth of information, contacts and experiences that are extensive and invaluable. Within Parkinson Canada, he has been a strong, consistent fundraiser, an active committee volunteer, an enthusiastic advocate in the community both on Parliament Hill and at Queen’s Park in Canada, plus he started and led a local support group in Muskoka, Ontario. Finally, during the past decade, he has committed much of his time to the World Parkinson Coalition. He has attended all four of the past World Parkinson Congresses and been a global ambassador for the past two. This is the very best extended family any Parkinsonian could ever have. His personal code is to remain positive, be grateful and smile daily! “Carpe Diem!”