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Participant Information

Robert Bartoo


To me, music is crucial in one's life. It's sustenance, just like food and water; it is essential if one is to survive. It allows me to relax and enter a spiritual realm, a wondrous place where I can take part in mystical adventures of all kinds, while at the same time relaxing and energizing my mind, my body and my soul.

Poetry is also a crucial part of my life as I feel it is a kind of music with words arranged in such a manner as to give one a vibrant snap shot glimpse of life and beyond.

Stage Plays and Musicals are also crucial to me as I am able to experience, first hand, up front and live, life played out in front of me.

In the past I had some success as a Composer, a Poet and a Playwright but that was long ago and before I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

I was 72 years old, when I found out that I had Parkinson's and as I lived alone, I knew I had no one to fall back on in case of emergency, and it was not a question of if I would need someone, only a question of when.

As a result, I'm afraid I started a down hill spiral until I got a hold of myself and realized that there were people that could help me and they did but I was still embarrassed by my actions in public - like my spilling of change on the floor at check-out counters as I searched through my wallet, or while at a restaurant, as I attempted to capture a morsel of food on my plate with my trembling fork and then attempted to steer that food into my eagerly awaiting mouth, hoping that in the process I didn't lose the food or stab myself while doing so.

Later on, I thought about all the other people who had Parkinson's- and how they too must be going through the same thing; but it was the way I felt some people treated people with Parkinson's that really angered me. They were condescending, they wrote you off- like you didn't have a brain in your head and talked to you as if you were 3 years old, because you might talk slowly or softly you were somehow retarded.

This was the push I needed to light a fire under me, I got mad as hell and I was going to speak out in my own way and show them that people with Parkinson's are just as capable as anyone else.

But how? I dusted off what talents I had and produced a CD entitled “Riding the Winds With Parkinson's” - which is also a fundraiser for Parkinson's research. It might be hard to believe but I found true happiness in the process.

You see, in addition to all the satisfaction I got from what I was doing, at the age of 72 and a man with Parkinson's, I found the woman I had been looking for all of my life. She loves me just as much as I love her and so this is a story with a happy ending. Both on the CD and in real life, it's an on-going love story where I face, where we face, my Parkinson's together and any other ailments, problems or what have you that might strike me, that might strike her, that might strike us.

We're a team and we'll ride it out together no matter what, and I shake my head in amazement to think how lucky I am. I'm thankful, peaceful and happy at this stage in my life and it all came about because of my Parkinson's and my creativity.

My website is:

Please visit my new website for your passport to a better world:

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