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Participant Information

Ruth Johnson


My name is Ruth Johnson and I was diagnosed with Parkinsonís Disease in 2004, although I had symptoms since 1999.

I have sewn since I was about 10 years, I learned in 4-H and continued learning in my high school Home Economics Classes. I even made and taught my friends to make denim purses in high school. I have continued to sew, making clothing for my family, decorating our home, teaching friends to sew and occasionally did sewing jobs.

I retired from my job in 2005 due to my condition. In the past few years, my hands have deteriorated, with the stiffness and slowness of Parkinsonís Disease, but I have continued to sew. It seems that when I am creating something, I forget about the PD for a while. Even though my fingers are slow and the work is tedious, I refuse to give up. Sewing and being creative is my therapy.

Parkinsonís Disease has added a new dimension to my life. It has caused me to slow down, so that I can actually enjoy life. Life is not flying by me any longer. Because of PD I now have lots of free time to devote to my creativity. I thank God for gifting me with creativity.

I collect vintage fabrics, quilts, button, laces, and discarded items to use in my creations. I sew clothing, create fabric and multi-media collages, make small quilts, tote bags and purses. Actually I love to do anything involving fabric and fabric arts. I am beginning to paint a little too.