Dear Parkinson’s, I’m Breaking Up With You

Samantha Felder avatar

by Samantha Felder |

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Dear Parkinson’s disease (PD),

Wow, I can’t believe that we’ve been together for nearly 10 years. Our relationship has been a roller-coaster ride, that’s for sure. We’ve had our ups and downs — well, mostly downs when you’re around. It’s time for me to take a stand and tell you to hit the road. You are not wanted around here anymore. That’s right, we are over.

I know that the first few days will be tough, but I am a badass Rock Steady boxer who can beat anything. My coaches have taught me the skills I need to keep pushing forward.

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You have not only changed my life, but my family’s lives as well. They didn’t ask for your disturbance. You made my parents worry about me at all hours of the night.

You said that it was OK to drive erratically, and I listened to you. I know now that was a mistake. You knew that the pharmacist had made a mistake and given me the wrong dosage, but you told me that nothing bad would happen. Only minutes later, those red and blue lights were blazing through my back window.

I lost my job because of you. I was told I couldn’t be a teacher with Parkinson’s. My heart was broken as I said goodbye to my students, without any answers to give them. My lifelong dream of changing the world was ripped from me in that moment.

Mr. PD, one of the few good things that you brought me was an inspirational group of individuals who have become a second family to me. They are spread across the world — from Florida to California, and from Canada to Spain. These individuals have shown me how Parkinson’s patients can beat the odds. One competed multiple times on “American Ninja Warrior,” and another won “The Amazing Race Canada.”

You’ve also shown me that when family comes together, they can achieve incredible things. Since you arrived, my family has been passionately raising awareness about you and the need for you to be swept aside. We have spoken in Washington, D.C., at the Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Policy Forum, and have our own fundraiser called “Punt Parkinson’s with the Pack.”

Don’t even think about coming back to me. There are way better suitors than you in the neurology world. I have deep brain stimulation knocking at my door, telling me he could light up my world with one spark. He promises to calm down my shaking hands and help me avoid trashing the soles of my shoes. He is big on exercise and nutrition, and swears they are the key to a healthy relationship.

In parting, I’d like to say, to the tune of the “Hit the Road Jack“:

Hit the road, PD, and don’t you come back
No more, no more, no more, no more.
Hit the road, PD, and don’t you come back no more!


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.


Terri L Henry avatar

Terri L Henry

This disease has devastated me. Why is there not better medications?

Stlane avatar


I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but Parkinson's never goes away. It can get better with the surgery and exercises. But it doesn't cure it. I asm a wife and caregiver to my husband and he has Parkinson's. He did the Rock Steady program and I recommend it to anyone with Parkinson's. He was doing great before the pandemic. The gyms shut down and things have gone south with him. He wound up in the hospital last year twice with UTI and sepsis. His brain no longer tells his bladder to fully empty. I straight cath him every 4 to 6 hours. He no longer walks long distances only short distances. But, I will tell everyone that the key to not letting Parkinson's get worse is exercise. Exercise is so important. But, there is nothing magical in the medical field that will get rid of Parkinson's, so don't get your hopes up about it going completely away. The only way it will go completely away is if God heals you.


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