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Participant Information

Catherine Rodriguez

San Diego

Art plays a vital role in my life. The art form that I engage in is quilting. When I retired early due to the PD I wasn't sure what I would do on a day to day basis, I was used to working 60 to 70 hours a week and free time was spent with family and doing chores.

I had always loved to sew and decided to spend more time with this art form. Quilting became a passion. I have made quilts for each of my children and their spouses, and for my four grandchildren, along with other family members and friends.

These quilts give provide a loving and lasting gift to my family. The quilts remind me that I can still accomplish a task from start to finish, that I have a talent that not many people do.

The role PD plays in my art, well it slows me down, I sometimes spend five to ten minutes threading a needle, but I am a patient person and don't set timelines for completion of my quilts so I just keep trying and sooner or later I always manage to thread those needles.

Like many PD people when I sit and do nothing, or watch TV or even read that resting tremor sets in, but if I am stitching my hand doesn't shake.

In 1999, when I was diagnosed with PD, I was a successful school principal, whose identity was my job. At the end of 2000, when I realized I couldn't keep my health and work as I was, I was devastated. I felt that my life had no worth.

Quilting gave me back a sense of worth, a reason to get up each morning.