Identifying Our Secret Superpowers

Mary Beth Skylis avatar

by Mary Beth Skylis |

Share this article:

Share article via email
Banner image for

It’s a crisp January morning when my best friend and I ask each other about our superpowers. He tells me he’s as fast as lightning, which is funny because he’s a semi-pro ultra runner. I think he must be in the top 10% of speedy athletes.

I slide my fingers across my chin, pensive and uncertain about my own talents. After a few moments, I realize what my superpower is: “I’m really good at finding information,” I tell him.

While it isn’t a superpower in the conventional sense, I could see my talent being dramatized and turned into a sort of telepathic tool.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve looked to textbooks when mulling over a complicated concept. For instance, after a particularly difficult day at school, I’d wonder how it was possible for some people to exhibit so little empathy. It wouldn’t be long before I was scouring the psychology section in the library.

Two decades have passed since I began my courtship with information, and little has changed. The topics shift like the seasons.

Recommended Reading
This illustration shows a hand holding a coin with paper money floating in the background.

$500,000 Fox Foundation Grant Goes to Yumanity’s YTX-7739 Research

Lately, I’ve been seeking answers to many of my dad’s dilemmas. After he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013, I started paying attention to the latest research.

I seek answers to questions like how Parkinson’s patients can mitigate the worst of their symptoms. Are there tools that can make daily tasks easier? Is it possible that there will ever be a cure for this terrible disease?

As a seeker of information and truth, Parkinson’s often leaves me puzzled. Sometimes there aren’t quick answers to the questions I’m asking. Researchers may be working to answer similar questions, but the information isn’t always available or accessible.

After a while, I begin to wonder about my dad’s superpower. He has always been extremely intuitive, and will often wake up from a dream feeling as if he found the answer he was searching for. I think he’s a sort of sage.

Curious as to how he perceives himself, I ask Dad what his superpower is. He tells me he has extra strength and power, making him akin to Superman. The comparison makes me giggle, but there’s truth in his words. After all, battling an enemy like Parkinson’s requires a whole lot of something spectacular.


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.


Richard Poulin avatar

Richard Poulin

When we find ourselves in challenging situations, our backs up against the wall, we find strength and skills that we did not know were there. It was not until I did reflection or shared my story did I realize that I had my superpower. I began to also realize, it was people like you and your father that I met along my journey who motivated me to go beyond what was possible.

Kim Jacobsen avatar

Kim Jacobsen

I often wonder if it’s hard to find information due to the perceived age demographics of patients who are less likely to use the internet or social media. It’s why I think some of us middle age or younger folks need to be more outspoken about our diagnoses it can’t just be Michael J Fox or we will never get anywhere. Unfortunately people are scared to disclose due to stigma associated with the disease.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.