As I say,

"I have Parkinson's,

 but Parkinson's does not have me."

Michael, CMC Leader

My name is Carmen Bosques.

I'm a wife, a mother, and a grandmother of six.   I Speak English and Spanish. I Received a Business degree from DePaul University.  I served six years in the  US Navy Reserved in Great Lakes, Il.  

Today, I have to add that I’m also a Parkinson patient.

 

I worked for more  than 40 years for the State of Illinois- as a Regional Manager for the Division of Child Support,  successfully managing a large bilingual team. I loved my job. Retirement was far removed from any future plans.  I could've work up to 106 years.  I felt small internal shakes but otherwise all was fine.

 

That was until one day in December 2010, when  I was diagnosed with Parkinson Decease. It took two years to accept my new life.  Plan of action, I started doing In-depth Parkinson Research,  Webinars, Parkinson Websites, etc.  With my new gained  knowledge, daily workout exercises (ie. boxing),  healthy eating and followed Doctors medical instructions made my Parkinson manageable.  In addition, I  have participated in several Clinical trials.  I will continue to participate in Clinical trials with hopes of finding a cure witch is near.

 

Yes it is a journey but you now have resources to go to.
You don’t have to do it alone! Come and hear our stories you would be amazed to here about the many techniques available to you.

Carmen, CMC Leader

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 My name is Valerie Juliette Ewing,

 

        I am 72 years young. I live in Chicago, Illinois. I reside on the Southeast side in the South Shore community, where I have lived for 48 years. I am a self-taught artist. After many years of working as a biochemist, I attended Columbia College Chicago, where I received a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts, and later served as an adjunct professor. Art has always been my passion, so I am engaged in art projects every day. The only thing that gives me more pleasure than art is spending valuable time with my four children and twelve grandchildren. After five years of teaching at Columbia, things started to get interesting. I began having a series of falls that resulted in a fractured spine. I wanted to believe I was just clumsy, but then my hands trembled for seemingly no reason, and my handwriting started to become illegible. I knew this was not like my usual self; I questioned my thoughts on doing art as I had done before.

          While at a routine visit, my doctor asked how I was doing in general. I replied that I had been feeling sort of strange. When I told him about the falls and tremors, he performed a simple exam and suggested I get an MRI of my brain. Two days later, he called with the results. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I didn’t even know what Parkinson’s disease was. He provided me with an explanation of the condition, and at that moment, I realized that I could put a face on the dilemma plaguing me for years.

I was 65 when diagnosed; however, I believe that I had Parkinson’s about seven years before that, but went undiagnosed. Referred to a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson’s, it was there that I received the prognosis. I would have to rethink the way I lived my life and how I did my art. I was frozen in denial and ignored the symptoms that progressively got worse. I even noticed I was shuffling, which is another symptom. I began treatment but continued to live in my bubble of disbelief.

            This situation put my marriage of 49 years to the test. I didn’t know what to do and couldn’t explain it to my husband how he could help. Because he always has my back, I wanted to believe I had nothing to worry about. That was “easier said than done. “Now, ten years later, I have taken an active approach to my treatment. I decided to be a survivor, not a victim. Instead of looking back, I started looking up.

                My diligent practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the last 49 years has become my rock and inspiration. Soka Gakkai International President Daisaku Ikeda states, “through sickness, human beings can gain insight into the meaning of life, understand life’s value and dignity and enjoy a more fulfilling existence “(Daisaku Ikeda “On health and Long Life” page 12). Prayer keeps me hopeful in my quest for wellness. The SGI. Nichiren Buddhist community provides me with all the support I need.

 

"When I think about

what makes me happy,

I go for it and make it happen.

No more putting

things on hold!"

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"The journey has been long and arduous; we remain single-mindedly focused on confronting this disease with hope for a victorious future!"

            My name is Michael Ewing,

 

Valerie and I have been a couple for fifty-four years.  Raising five children and supporting twelve grandchildren gave us many opportunities to face and overcome formidable challenges. We have traveled throughout the world and enjoyed a lifetime of happy memories. Throughout our relationship, she experienced health challenges in numerous aspects. Being conscientious and focused on treatment, she navigated her way through each challenge.  My support for years was driving her to her countless medical appointments and listening to what the doctor said. It wasn’t until she began experiencing falls, ending in the hospital with a fractured spine, our journey with Parkinson’s began. My caregiving started from that hospital stay. No longer just a driver and third party to her doctor’s visits.

I was by her bedside throughout each emergency room visit, ICU stops hospitalization, rehabilitation stint, and future doctor visits. Being a caregiver has not been easy. There are stressful, confusing, and challenging times. My refuge and rejuvenating vehicle have been in chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Through this daily practice, I have remained hopeful that with wisdom and courage, the steep mountain before us, when climbed, only strengthens us. With her support, I continue to play my Saxophone every day that allows my creativity to color my world. 

Michael, CMC Leader

Valerie, CMC Leader