During a visit to Colombia with her husband, Janice noticed something was not quite right. “It was there, in 2010, I first noticed a loss of balance, she said. “But I was not officially diagnosed until 2012 (at age 65).”

Janice’s original doctor started her on treatment to address restless leg syndrome, as well as to help improve her balance and speech. After two years of treatment, Janice sought help from Dr. Amanda Avila of Florida Neurology Group, who correctly diagnosed her Parkinson’s disease.

Once she began the new care plan developed for her by Dr. Avila, Janice noticed amazing changes. “My speech is more normal, and I’m not so stiff. I’m able to walk with normal gait and arm swing,” she said. “It’s been evident how it has turned me around – it’s been a blessing.”

Janice then discovered the Hope Parkinson Program. She signed up for the 12 week Tai Chi for Better Balance workshop and also participated in the Creative Stress Retreat. In addition, Janice attends hour-long senior stretch and balance classes at the YMCA twice a week.

“When you have PD, sometimes people don’t understand what you’re going through,” said Janice. “Through Hope, I’ve found a sense of camaraderie with others as we share our experiences.”

Janice also recently began attending the newly formed Women’s PD Support Group and encourages others to find a group that feels right to them.

She added, “You need to give in order to get. If you give of yourself, you’ll learn a lot, and at Hope, there is something for everyone.”

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