I can’t believe I am actually blogging, it’s taken me a lot of courage to come out of the closet about my disease, but I find writing very therapeutic. The day I was diagnosed with Young onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD) I knew I was in for the fight of my life for my life.

A former Military and civilian Air Traffic controller my talents were multitasking speaking in a calm clear and assertive voice.  I was good at my job and I knew it, “Navy ND425 turn left heading 275° descend and maintain one zero thousand vectors to the final approach course.”

My wife Kristin and friends used to love to call me at the Tower and listen to me talk in my “controller voice.”

All that is gone now, my assertive voice now more of a unsure mumble, my stride replaced by a make shift shuffle and tremors internal and external plaguing my right side appear at an instant if I’m the slightest bit uncomfortable.

Almost 8years ago my wife was pregnant with our second…..oops I meant second and third set of twin boys! When I told her I had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s; she could only say, “Did you tell them we are having twins?” in which I could only nod and respond, “I really don’t think that matters.”

Some might call me in denial but I have decided to let God take me on a path of spiritual healing; all I’ve ever known is how to fight, I’ll never give up!

#fightparkinsons #bodymindandsoul







April 26, 2016

I often wondered how long I could hide it, but my truth is Parkinson’s is now a bigger part of me now than it isn’t. The increased pain, loss of coordination, stiffness and ever more present shuffle in my walk, along with the associated tremor and daily struggles in performing routine tasks are all becoming increasingly more present. All of this together have created a new type of social embarrassment and anxiety for me in which I can find no words to describe.

I was first diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease in 2009 while my wife Kristin was 4 months pregnant with our now 6 year old twin boys, and life has been anything but easy. I have never openly socially talked about it, so I guess this is kind of a coming out moment for me. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, l only ask for words of encouragement if you’d would like to share. This has been terribly difficult for me to get to this point, but I somehow feel it’s needed.

I’m slowly beginning to realize part of having this disease is to own it, and I’ve always tried to fight and own Parkinson’s before it owns me. I’ve also often wrestled with wondering why me? Frequently obsessing on how scared I am for the future of my family. I can’t help but think how terrified my wife must be; this has got to be so terribly difficult for her also. Parkinson’s has been such a nasty disease thus far, and slowly dying neurologically is a fate I could not willingly wish on my worst enemy. I honestly would have never believed how physically painful this would be, and how much depression would play such a major part. My faith has definitely been tested, but I continue to believe God has a plan for me, so I trust in him and wait.

Dan & KidsMy children are much too young to completely understand what’s actually happening to me. They have never known their Daddy without Parkinson’s and their future, pending a miracle, won’t be any different. The look in their eyes as they grab a hold of my hand to try and stop it from shaking, both haunts me and fills me with joy. Everything I am is because of them.

Recently, I looked in the rear view mirror and to see all 3 of my kids singing along at the top of their lungs to, “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins. I lit up with joy and had to stop to remind myself, my real job in this life is to Lead my family and be the best Father and Husband I can be. I have sometimes have failed at both, and will more than likely fail in the future; but if I do fail it’s because I’ve never done any of this before; I’m still learning and trying to be better. 

In the last couple months I have physically felt terrible and been tested, but I’ve been blessed with some amazing moments. A trip to Disneyland, watching my wife enjoy music and dance with the kids, a family camping trip, and a recent Sunday drive over Galena summit and a simple date night just to name a few. I’m gradually learning to live in the moment and have been overwhelmed with emotion as I witness the sheer beauty in these newly discovered moments. I don’t think I would have ever appreciated them or have been able to see them as clearly if I hadn’t been dealt this fate. I really try and look at each day differently now as they reveal themselves and appreciate all of my blessings.. Parkinson’s may be a part of me but I won’t allow it to define me.

Matthew 6:34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it’s own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

– seems about right-