"It was like being trapped in a 3 year old's body with a 55 year old's brain."
W. Stanton (Stan) Smith, a successful principal at Deloitte LLP, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease around his 51st birthday. In a high pressure business atmosphere, he struggled with Parkinson's (PD) for six years. Despite accommodation from his firm; he was in a losing battle with PD.
When TotalPicture Radio producer/host Peter Clayton first met Stan in 2005, he walked with a cane, and had tremors typical with PD. He was unable to do simple tasks, like button his shirt or load a dishwasher.
Peter got together with Stan and his wife, Roz in Westport, Connecticut, recently, to record our interview. Today, Stan walks without a cane, has no noticeable tremor, and has returned to activities he loves, like singing in his church choir.
This is a remarkable story about commitment and perseverance. Several years ago, Stan and Roz moved to the Greenville, SC area with the expectation of going on disability. However he began a special exercise program in its experimental stage and improved enough that he now has a much reduced tremor, much more mobility and a stronger voice. (As an added bonus, he was able to work for another four years before retiring in 2009).
Today he continues his professional work as specialist in intergenerational communications in the workplace and as a key member along with his wife of the Parkinson's Support Group of the Upstate.
In their new book, Waving Goodbye to Parkinson's Disease, Stan and Roz share what they've learned about how to cope with PD. Roz gives insight and inspiration as she talks about how to approach being a Care Partner (CP), a topic that is seldom discussed or written about.
Stan is candid about his struggles to come to grips with the disease. He shares what he has learned through his undertaking the LifeWaves® Cycles Exercise® Program and provides some easy to remember pointers on how to deal with people's reactions to you and how to approach life more positively as a Person With Parkinson's (PWP.)
This book is a quick read that is profoundly inspiring. It provides PWPs, CPs, friends and family with practical guidance on how to live with PD.
Please note: Deloitte LLP is the founding sponsor of this show.
About Peter Clayton
Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.