This I Believe

Elena - Freehold, New Jersey
Entered on February 3, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

The love children offer is so tender, innocent and pure. Although Parkinson was causing me great distress, I had learned to convert the feeling of defeat as an energy fuel to grow even stronger. I knew that being divorced, raising three children and at the same time have a chronic illness, was a daily challenge I had to face. When you have Parkinson you have to endure, survive, and thrive.

As I had more downs than ups, more offs than on; my children were always at my side. The only image they had of me was shaking (tremors,) kicking (restless legs,) and moving uncontrollably (dyskenesia). These symptoms are typical of Parkinson disease. All throughout their young life they grew up seeing me ill, to them it was normal to sweat, to fall, to roll and even to drool as much as I used to.

Regardless, they respected, treated and loved me the way I was and I am grateful to them for their unconditional love.

My children have grown. Tiffany and Vanessa are both teenagers. I believe they are possessed. They are no longer sweet, huggable, as they were when they were younger. They seem to be bitter at the world. My mother tells me that their behavior is typical of any teenager, but I am still looking for an exorcist.

It has been over two years since IOT had the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) at RWJUH overseen by doctor Annette Nieves. Since then, I had regained my speech, mobility and walking. I am now able to ride my bike, hear the music and dance, see the ocean sing and dance making waves, walk barefooted on the sand and run and chase my teenagers around, whenever necessary.

My children are getting to know me without the Parkinson symptoms. They are double impressed by my new hobby: painting.

I have to thank my mother for her ethics she instilled in me; my beautiful sister, Evelyn, whom took her time to entertain me when I needed to be, to my brothers, Carlos and Walter for their love and support. Many thanks to my children, for helping me endured my battle with Parkinson’s disease with smiles, tears, happiness, hardship and love.

Furthermore, I have to thank God, the Almighty for answering to my prayers.

My duty now is to help raise funds and awareness so that one day the cure for Parkinson is found. To know that there will be an end to this horrible illness. To help people with Parkinson’s disease is my main struggle.

Gisselle, Vanessa y Tiffany;

You are my life, love, pride and my sculptures and life make you into my masterpiece.