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José Maria


I can still do my favourite things


I accept that Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease, but I am maintaining as normal a life as possible. Keeping up my exercise routine is essential to me physically, and it helps me to stay positive in my mind as well.

José Maria is training to swim across the port at Malaga – just as he did 40 years ago. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004, José Maria believes that regular exercise is good for his mind as well as his body.

It was while José Maria was out walking with his wife Veronica in 2003 that he had his fi rst symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He couldn’t swing his left arm properly and had to work hard to make it move. The result was so forced that his wife, Veronica, thought he was waving at someone. As well as trembling in his left arm, José Maria was also having trouble walking, and sometimes his face was rigid.

By the time his son celebrated his fi rst communion a year later, José Maria felt too weak to help organise the party after the service and didn’t even have the energy to talk to his guests. At work in the sales department of a large company, the travelling and driving were exhausting.

When José Maria was fi nally diagnosed with Parkinson’s, his doctor reassured him that it is one of the most common brain disorders:

‘I put myself in his hands with complete trust, knowing that he will give me the best treatment for my symptoms to “live as normal a life as possible”.’

Medication helps to control José Maria’s symptoms, and he has now retired from work. Instead, he runs the house as “budget offi cer” and “domestic manager”:

“I accept that Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease, but I am maintaining as normal a life as possible. Keeping up my exercise routine is essential to me physically, and it helps me to stay positive in my mind as well. “

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