Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Parkinson's Disease Patience Finds Solace in Origami

My friend and student Bev copes with Parkinson's Disease, and she says that practicing origami helps settle her symptoms and distract her from pains.  Her story was featured on OregonLive in April: Parkinson's Awareness Month.  Although April had passed, and I had already shared this story on my Facebook page, I thought that I should share it here on my blog as well.  Because a good story deserves more attentions.

Bev has encouraged and inspired many others who cope with this disease, including my family member.  She has done that not only by sharing her story on  local media, but also by connecting others with PD, starting a Parkinson's support group and leading it.  Despite her chronic pain and limited mobility, Bev is always optimistic and has a good sense of humor.  She keeps herself busy with physical therapy, gardening and all kinds of art and craft projects.  Her quote, "our bodies change, but our spirit does not have to."  I admire Bev's creative passion and am grateful to have gotten to know her through origami.

Below is a "sneak peek" video clip of Bev folding an origami ring in my class, originally posted on OregonLive.  There is also a whole article where she and another local PD patience was featured on OregonLive (here is the link).  

Parkinson's Disease patient finds solace in origamiBev Mickelson, 59, was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2008. She discovered origami after moving to a senior living center in Southeast Portland. When she's focused on art, she said, she forgets she's sick.

If you suffer from Parkinson's Disease, know someone who does, or want to find out more about PD, here is a link to Parkinson's Disease Foundation.