raising our voices

Blog Posts

A Long Way to Go

I worked as a nurse, a nurse midwife-nurse practitioner and a clinical director in my first act. In that first act were the years that I had trained for and dreamed about serving women with reproductive health needs and helping to guide women through labor and delivery of their newborn babies and to help through many phases in their lives. Then I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’sDisease. I left my clinical work and now am an author, advocate and artist.

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Birth of a Project

We do ourselves an injustice by just suffering through it. Life, that’s the it. Women, that’s the we. We are so busy juggling families, work, caring for elder parents and advocating for others that we forget to advocate for ourselves. And if we do not advocate for ourselves, who will?

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A New Baby and a Diagnosis of Young Onset PD

So, there I was 3 months pregnant with a much wanted second child, having a hot chocolate on the side of a snowy mountain in the French Alps when my hand would not stop shaking. When my husband came off the slopes with my 10-year-old son, I remember saying to him ‘as long as it’s not Parkinson’s.’

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We use our hands to function well in the world; to put on our clothes, to feed ourselves, to care for those we love. I have used my hands to help mamas bring their babes into this world. I was a honored to work as a midwife “catching” babies for over 15 years. A collection of old weathered hands hung on my office wall. Hands fascinate me; what stories might hands hold? What special touch were they a part of? Hands of the aged, what wisdom might they hold?

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The Fastest Envelope Stuffer in the West

"Your disease is progressing," my doctor told me last June. I stared at her. I didn't understand. I was a slow progresser. Slow on the slow scale, the last snail in the race. I envisioned slow being where I was for the next twenty years. I knew that didn’t make sense. I knew I was partly in denial. But I held on to that belief. It got me through. I felt that I was given that magical fairy dust that would freeze the disease in time within my body.

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Building from Small Acorns

Women’s empowerment and women’s voices in healthcare have exploded on social media recently. When we started the Women’s Parkinson’s Project, we knew we wanted to address a need, a gap, we saw. That gap was a place to share the voices of women, through stories, about their day-to-day struggles and their journey with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions. We wanted to go slow. Give our project time to build up. We all had jobs, families, commitments, and of course our main partner to take care, the disease itself.

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