Rhonda was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in May 1998 at age 35 with three elementary-aged boys at home. Rhonda’s Parkinson’s presented itself with a worsening tremor in her fingers on her right hand and in the right side of her jaw, as well as dragging her right leg and no swing in her arm when she walked.
There was very little literature about Young Onset Parkinson’s available when she was diagnosed, so Rhonda joined a support group. Unfortunately, it was far from her home and she could only attend occasionally. Her biggest support came in the form of social media, allowing Rhonda to connect with others with Young Onset Parkinson’s and learn how they were managing their diagnosis.
In 2009, Rhonda realized that exercise, mainly running, was going to be the key to keeping her Parkinson’s the most manageable. While she enjoys biking, swimming, rowing, lifting weights, hiking, and yoga, Rhonda finds the most enjoyment in long-distance running. In fact, she is running her 100th marathon since she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s on March 1, 2020.
Living well for Rhonda means allowing Parkinson’s only to be a back-seat passenger in her life instead of a front seat driver. Rhonda is a person who is the sum of all her parts, and she refuses to let Parkinson’s take over.
“I prefer to concentrate on doing everything I can to enjoy my life. I try my best not to let my illness become the focal point.”
Ask Rhonda about:
- Early Retirement
- Justin, Texas