Thursday, May 9, 2019

It Is Good to Be Back


A little more than six years ago, I accepted the position of serving as President of Trinity Western University. I am confident that most people probably thought I was out of my mind. After all, why would a 60-year-old with Parkinson’s disease accept such a challenging role? I am still not sure I have an answer for that question, but the past six years have been both the hardest and most rewarding of my life. I have learned more than I ever thought possible (and enjoyed hanging out with the students).


But I have missed writing this blog. And I promised myself that when my term as president of the University ended, I would pick up my pen (actually, my voice recognition software) and continue writing these posts. My desire for this blog remains the same; to be encouraging to others through transparently sharing my life as a person with Parkinson’s.

Some who may be reading this may be asking themselves the question, “How did my Parkinson’s progress during these past six years?” Well, the PD did not get better, but it did not get that much worse either. I was pleasantly surprised that my symptoms did not worsen significantly. This minor miracle certainly did not result from my complying with the doctor’s orders. My neurologist strongly advised me to avoid stress, get lots of exercise, and ensure I get enough sleep. I did none of these. The job was so demanding that I just did not seem to have time. It could be that my work simply constituted a sophisticated form of denial. In any event, I feel about the same as I did six years ago. I chalk it up to being one of those people with Parkinson’s who respond well to the standard medication (carbidopa levodopa). I do not take the slow progression of the disease for granted. In fact, I count each day as a gift.

So, at the age of 66, I am returning to the practice of law in the hopes that I can still “serve as a trusted problem solver”[1] . In future posts I will let you in on some of my plans for the future. For now, know this: life is still in an adventure and having Parkinson’s disease just adds to the challenge. I plan to remain ‘Positively Parkinson’s’.




[1] this is taken from my law firm's Mission Statement, which can be found by clicking here.

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