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Participant Information

Diane E. Kerbow

City:
Longview
State:
TX
Country:
USA
Essay:

Art plays a tremendous role in my life. Besides my faith, it is what keeps me going. I was 39 years old when Parkinson's disease touched my life. I am now 52.

There is no cure for Parkinson's, and knowing my health will only continue to deteriorate is depressing. My art, however, brings me joy, peace, and a feeling of accomplishment.

In my art, I am able to express myself, who I am as a person, apart from Parkinson's. When I am creating with fabric, embellishing, doing machine embroidery, or quilting, I don't dwell on my Parkinson's. I immerse myself in my creations, and this gives me the freedom and opportunity to "spread my wings and soar like an eagle" and enjoy living.

Yes, I am a person living with Parkinson's disease, and yes, it has taken a toll on me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I move slowly, shake and jerk, lose my balance and sometimes fall, but I keep on going. Creating crazy patch, traditional, and art quilts and embroidered, embellished vests and jackets gives me an outlet, a way to positively express my feelings, my individuality.

I have a degree in music, vocal performance, from Texas Woman's University. When Parkinson's took away my singing voice, I had to find a new avenue in which to express myself and my creativity, and I chose sewing.

Because of Parkinson's disease, I do not sew, nor machine embroider, nor finish a project as quickly as someone else; but that isn't important. What is important is being able to face each new day knowing that I am more than a person afflicted with Parkinson's disease; I am a unique, artistic individual with value and worth, who has a lot to share with the world.

My art is an expression of my life, of who I am. It is a very important reason why I am able to face the daily battle of living with Parkinson's disease and not give up.