I’m Comforted by Inspiring Books About Fighting Disease

Mary Beth Skylis avatar

by Mary Beth Skylis |

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I’m always on the hunt for different ways to find relief and even joy from what seems to be constant loss. Since my father’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, I have turned to reading books about the disease to see how others have managed the sadness that comes with this illness.

Seeing my dad battle Parkinson’s (PD) has been taxing. Each day brings a different challenge, and it’s easy to get caught up in negative thoughts.

Two books that stand out have been a light in the darkness, and I hope they’ll provide solace for others, too.

Recommended Reading
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Navigating a Career With Early-onset Parkinson’s Disease

Michael J. Fox became famous as an actor, but his diagnosis of early onset Parkinson’s made him into a legend.

In his memoir, “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality,” Fox employs humor, thoughtfulness, and strength to provide insight into his battle with PD. He asks questions about health, mortality, and existence to discuss his disease and the effects it has had on him. He reveals his own issues with mobility and the loss of some abilities to paint a hopeful picture for those of us who are also fighting this disease. Knowing that Fox has contributed to research in the fight against PD was just the cherry on top when I read his book.

Suleika Jaouad’s “Between Two Kingdoms” is not specifically about PD, but it does address many relatable topics.

Not long after completing her undergraduate degree, Jaouad began to experience mysterious symptoms — itchiness and fatigue. She learned she had leukemia and that she had about a 65% chance of an early death. How she went about tackling her fears, battling the disease, and embracing her life are enough to inspire anyone to stay motivated. Jaouad proves that it’s possible to find comfort, solace, and growth within the darkest chapters of our lives.

I know that we all find comfort and peace in different ways. Some people tune out grief. Others consume it bit by bit. I’m someone who learns as much about a topic as I can in order to grapple with it, and books have always allowed me to do just that. These two books have provided both insight and comfort when nothing else seemed to.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


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