Ellen Bookman

Patient Leader

On January 29, 2018, my life changed forever -- I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease at 52. A year and a half later, I found my voice. I put pen to paper and started a blog https://lifechanging.me/. When I started the blog, I had no idea what it would turn into. I just wanted to write. Now, I am a social media maniac connecting with people from all over the world. This is a work in progress, and I just surpassed over 100 Twitter and Instagram followers in a short time. Not much to some...but for me fantastic. I will not stop telling my story if it will help one person. Below is my story: As I sat in the neurologist's office on January 29, 2019 - 2 30 pm to be exact -- listening to her confirm the diagnosis, at 52, I literally thought my world (and my husband's world) had ended forever. I had a bad first year both phsyically and mentally. I felt sorry for myself. I was just going to lie on the couch and accept my fate. Then, one day in April 2018, I finally picked up the phone and called LDBF Boxing for Parkinson's (https://www.boxingforparkinsons.org/) in Atlanta, and my life changed forever. I got off the couch. I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I started boxing. Soon, the couch potato was on the board of LDBF. I created LDBF's website. I even got my boxing friend to tell his family he had PD. I never realized how I could affect the lives of others just by being myself. The "big mouth" was finally making a difference. It took a Parkinson's diagnosis to realize I have a gift. The other day, John, one of my boxer friends, said to me "thanks for being my friend and making my situation easier." To anyone who will listen, here's my message -- "Get up. Get up now, and don't wait for a diagnosis to change your life." And, if you happen to get a life changing diagnosis, my advice is to LIVE. JUST LIVE!!!! Mike Drop!

Location

Atlanta, GA

Nominations

Rookie of the Year

Ellen 'found' me on Twitter. She's recently diagnosed Young Onset Parkinson's disease and new to blogging, but I really enjoy her writing style and think she needs encouragement.  — Bev

Ellen Bookman

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