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August Parkinson's Spotlight -jud

Learn more about Jud Eson

August Parkinson's Spotlight -jud

This month, I had the pleasure to interview Jud Eson. Jud and his wife, Nancy, are a major force in our community. Jud is the secretary on the board of directors for

Jud served for five years as the president of the Capital District Parkinson's Support Group. CDPSG aims to provide moral support and fellowship to people with Parkinson’s Disease, their families and care partners. Jud believes in saying “yes” when possible. When he was asked by an injured group member if he could help carry cans of seltzer from her car into the building, he said “yes”.  Somehow, saying “yes” resulted in being elected President. Jud and Nancy facilitated PD SELF groups for 5 years.  PD SELF, a program for the newly diagnosed, provides people with the motivation, confidence, skills, and knowledge needed to improve their quality of life through self-efficacy.

Jud retired from a career of 30+ years as an information technology manager and uses his IT skills to help several local organizations, including our very own, design and maintain their websites.

As you can see, Jud does a lot of our community! I asked how he stays motivated to continue giving back and he shared, “The Parkinson's community has become my family.  I have met so many people that have inspired and supported me. I  have volunteered to support a cause I am passionate about. It has enriched my life and I have gained so much from it. Parkinson's has taken away but it has given me a purpose, too.”

Jud shared that he is currently helping put together this year's Gala for Hope Soars - mark your calendars for October 28th and stay tuned for more information!

Jud has recently started a Ping Pong class for people with Parkinson's. They meet Monday morning at 10 AM at the Guilderland YMCA right before the Neuromotor Wellness class . He is working on getting a Ping Pong for Parkinson’s class into the Clifton Park YMCA and Bruce Plotsky has just started one at the Bethlehem YMCA.

When asked how Jud lives well with Parkinson's, he said he tries to stay moving and tries to be flexible; flexible enough to touch the floor and to adjust to changes that Parkinson's brings to his life. Jud has always been an avid bike rider. Before his diagnosis he would bike to work. One year he biked 3,800 miles in one year! He thinks without realizing it he was making up for his lack of dopamine by biking to work every day.

Throughout the entire interview, there was one theme that always shined through, support. Jud shared that with all of his involvement in the community, he always had the support of his wife  Nancy. Jud explained that Nancy is always giving her feedback and is doing all the behind the scenes work and that he couldn't be successful in these roles without her.

I asked Jud if he had any advice for all of you. This is what he shared:

“If you are newly diagnosed, it is not a death sentence. Give yourself time to adjust to your new reality and you will realize it might not be that bad. Learn as much as you can about Parkinson's. The more you know, the more you can manage symptoms with an active lifestyle. Make sure you see a Movement Disorder Specialist and not just a generalized neurologist. Plan for the future but also plan for contingencies. Even though it is challenging, don't give up because with the right care and support, you can live a long time. Connect with other people, stay active, stay engaged, and exercise."

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