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Parkinson’s patient uses power of positive thinking to inspire others

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – Those in Siouxland living with Parkinson’s Disease and their caretakers learned new skills Friday to help battle the degenerative disease.

Experts at an event held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Sioux City had several recommendations, including exercises.

Those in attendance learned some stretches they can easily do at home or in a class setting.

As part of the event, attendees also heard from presenters on topics ranging from deep brain stimulation, aquatic exercises, and current and future treatments for the disease.

One woman at the event is using the power of positive thinking to helps inspire others with the disease.

“I was diagnosed as a young onset patient when I was 48, so 16 years ago, I was diagnosed and I’ve dealt with Parkinson’s now for 16 years,” said Victoria Miller.

The American Parkinson Disease Association says nearly one million people in the United States live with the disease.

It can affect people of all age groups, but people typically develop the disease in their 50s.

But the APDA adds, about 10-percent of those with Parkinson’s, like Miller, are under the age of 50.

Miller says since her diagnosis, her fight has all been about attitude.

“There’s no way to stop this disease,” said Miller, “but there’s a lot of things we can do to treat it and one of the things we can do to treat it is having a good attitude and optimism.”

She says she doesn’t let her diagnosis get her down.

Instead, she is trying to inspire others battling Parkinson’s.

“I didn’t know anyone who had Parkinson’s Disease, except for me and that is what I’m trying to change now on a personal level because I think it’s so important we are a community of comfort,” said Miller.

Miller says she stays busy in her day-to-day life.

“I have continued to try to do everything I want to do. I forge forward sometimes to the point where my husband insists that I go lay down and rest a little bit because I am not going to give in. I am not going to give up,” says Miller.

And, Miller always makes sure to have her “fighter” spirit intact — every day.

She even has a few quotes she lives by.

“Fate whispers to the warrior you cannot stand the storm but, the warrior whispers back I am the storm,” says Miller.

Miller says when she was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, she was surprised, but part of her was relieved because it could have turned out so much worse.

Ashly Richardson

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