57 years old
Grew up in Salem
Graduated from North Salem 1979
Served in the U.S. Air Force 1979-
Graduated from Oregon State University
in 1987 with a Master of Education
Industrial Education teacher at
McKay High since 1987 (30 years)
Wife and 4 children ranging
in ages from 17-
About six and a half years ago I started to feel extremely tired. I would come home from work and fall on my bed exhausted. I also had a feeling in my legs like there were rubber bands being stretched in my legs. I noticed a slight tremor in my left hand. I began to do some research on the internet and noticed that I had other symptoms of Parkinson’s. This led me to conclude that I might have Parkinson’s. I went to a neurologist and after a few appointments and a sleep study he concluded the same thing.
Most people think that Parkinson’s is just tremors. Parkinson’s involves stiffening muscles, slowness of movement, exhaustion, mysterious pains, foggy mind, depression, sleep disorders, change in physical appearance and much, much more. It is progressive and there is no cure, it can be treated with medications until the medications are no longer effective.
I have always been athletic person and lived an active and healthy life style. I did not want to take any medication. About two years into my diagnoses, my movements on my left side began to slow and my arm and hand would tremor. At that point, my Dr. convinced me to start medication. I am now taking about 10 pills a day at a little less than 3-
When I first received the diagnoses, I went to a physical therapist who specialized in movement and he gave me a set of exercises to do daily. You might see me here at the Kroc daily completing my exercises. I have done them every day for over 6 years. I also, run on an elliptical, shoot baskets, lift weights and soak in the hot tub. I have tried to keep my life as normally as it can be. I continue to garden, cook, camp, golf, fish, and spend time with my family and their activities.
I believe that I wouldn’t be in the condition I am in today if not for exercising, eating right, trying to keep my life as normally as possible and having faith in God. Now in my 30th year of teaching, I have cut back to half-
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.