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Participant Information

Lillian Snyder

City:
Wheaton
State:
IL
Country:
USA
Essay:

Thank you for recognizing and encouraging the role of art in the life of Parkinson's patients.

The diagnosis of Parkinson's in 1998 was devastating for me, as I had seen one of my brothers suffer for more than ten years with this illusive disease.

It was almost five years before I could tell anyone except my husband and children about my diagnosis. It was difficult to conceal it, but the medicines kept the symptoms under control pretty well.

Then I came to realize that my life was changing and I had to make some changes as well. It was then that I took oil and watercolor lessons. The process and results brought me great satisfaction, and I learned to share my knowledge and paintings with others.

My granddaughter and I had great fun as I helped her learn the fundamentals of watercolor and she delighted her family and me with her remarkable paintings. It became more difficult for me to speak my emotions, as my voice, which was never strong, became weaker, and it was hard for me to express myself verbally.

That was when I started writing my thoughts and emotions on paper to share with others. It has been great therapy for me, and I hope others find satisfaction in exploring new avenues of expression as I have.

Living with Parkinson's is a daily challenge, but it helps when I can bring joy to others and perhaps be a positive influence on their lives. Painting and writing have enabled me to do that.

As you will note, the painting and writing are interrelated but were not done at the same time and each could be independent of the other.

Again, I applaud you for encouraging us to look beyond our disabilities and create something that perhaps will inspire and bring hope to others.