13 years ago, Bob Russell said he noticed weakness on the right side of his body. “It's a horrible feeling,” the Youngstown resident said.
Doctors determined Russell had Parkinson's Disease. The chronic, progressive, neurodegenerative disease breaks down the signal from brain to muscle. “Some of the fine motor skills will become a real challenge,” explained Parkinson’s Foundation WNY Executive Director, Chris Jamele.
In Russell’s case, he's had two surgeries and now takes eight medications a day. “If my meds are dropping, I'll start slurring my words, and I won't be able to project. I'll drag my feet and hands, and I'll feel yucky.”
Everyday tasks take longer than they used to before his diagnosis. But, Russell said his wife and children are there to help. “I say that I don't have Parkinson's Disease. I say my whole family has Parkinson's because it affects the entire family.”
Russell said Neil Diamond's diagnosis goes to show the disease can affect anyone. So, he had some advice: “You have to have a sense of humor and go on with life the best you can.”
For more information on Parkinson’s Disease, click here.