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Participant Information

Adele Pfrimmer Hensley


Before Parkinson's disease entered my life, I expressed myself through my voice and body. I sang, told stories, and was an environmental educator. All the work I did involved singing or public speaking.

The first, and worst, symptom of my case of PD has been loss of vocal function. The expression of this varies, depending on medication, exercise, and sleep, but I can no longer sing in a choir. I can no longer speak clearly enough to teach or tell stories. Sometimes even my own family members cannot understand me.

Parkinson's disease has closed the door on my habitual modes of creative expression, and so it has made me be brave. I still have things I want to say, feelings I want to express, and children I want to teach, so I have begun to write stories for children.

I always enjoyed making up stories but telling them came much more easily to me than writing them down. With PD I cannot tell them, but I can write them.

PD has also given me the chance to choose to spend time taking long walks and bike rides. This is time when I am free to form and develop ideas for stories. This isn't the form of artistic expression I would have chosen, but it is the form I choose now.

This particular story is for children, and adults, who must face life with a chronic condition, such as Parkinson's disease.