Winter 2012 Update

Parkinson Center of Oregon

Richard CharronAfter I was diagnosed with PD, I felt like the arrows of advancement were shooting at their target – my body. I tried to hide my shakes or limp, but PD seemed to be slowly taking over my hands, arms, and legs.

Early on my wife and I told our three daughters and their husbands about my PD. I bought the richest chocolate cake you could imagine thinking, 'news like this will go down better with chocolate cake'. Outside family, I kept my diagnosis a secret for as long as I could.

I had been promoted at work into a high pressure, fast-paced position and I did what I could to manage my job and progressing symptoms. Before I felt I could go public, I wanted a second opinion on my diagnosis. Luckily my wife works at OHSU and we were referred to the Parkinson Center of Oregon.

Dr. Nutt and physician assistant Shannon Donavan provided me with a treatment plan that worked – that is, once I finally agreed to the plan. To learn more about living with PD, I attended the PCO Insights and Inspirations symposium for people under the age of 59 with PD. That experience completely changed the way I perceived my situation. The main message for me was that there is life with PD.

The education and personalized care I received at Parkinson Center of Oregon helped to erase the stigma of the disease, which also brought me to the realization that I needed to tell others at work and outside family. In return I found I had an amazing support system ready to embrace me. With the help and encouragement of PCO and my employer, I was able to continue working until retiring late 2011.

Your gift to the Parkinson Center of Oregon provides great care, education, and a community for Parkinson patients. In this season of giving, please make a gift to the Parkinson Center of Oregon. Your continued generosity brings hope and healing to people with PD and their families. Thank you.


Richard Charron

Richard Charron