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Participant Information

Carey Christensen

City:
Stanwood
State:
WA
Country:
USA
Essay:

Diagnosed with PD at the age of 41 in 1999, it wasn't until I lost my job to Parkinson's disease in 2002 that I found my voice.

Devastated by the depression that accompanied my PD, I found it difficult to find information. As I searched for answers I decided I needed to share what I learned. So I taught myself website design and launched www.clognition.org in June 2002.

I borrowed the name from a friend who humorously called Parkinsonian cognition, "CLOGNITION." The focus on the mental health aspects of PD was unique and welcome to many; it was a topic usually relegated by experts as a "secondary" concern - when PWP know it is of primary importance.

The website has given me an outlet for creativity and a way to keep connected to my fellow Parkies. My writing is personally therapeutic, and, hopefully, publicly helpful.

I am grateful to the Northwest Parkinson's Foundation for providing me with a place to share my essays, which seem to flow so easily since my diagnosis. Their 'Parkinson's Post' reaches a different audience than my website, and stretches my abilities in a different way.

Living with Parkinson's disease is tough. I can honestly say, though, that PD has given me the opportunity to do things I might never have tried, and meet wonderful people I might never have known. It is a brutal, beautiful existence.