“PFP has been the most important resource I have,” said Dan Bell when discussing his Parkinson’s Journey. His wife, Gwen (an employee at Vanderbilt) heard about the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson’s Active with Parkinson’s support group one day at work shortly after Dan was diagnosed. After a decade of experiencing executive skills and memory issues, Dan was officially diagnosed in 2018 with Parkinson’s. Dan does not experience rest tremors, instead he says his greatest issues include weakness and pain in his feet, and many of the typical non-motor symptoms such as acting out dreams in his sleep or having overall stiffness throughout his body during dopamine medicine off times.
Dan has been attending meetings and seminars supported by the foundation to gain knowledge and understanding of living with PD since 2018. “I mistook shuffling my feet to be a symptom associated with an old, herniated disc. Now it all makes sense,” states Bell after years of learning about his prognosis. He attributes most of his knowledge including how to exercise, what to eat and how to choose medical professionals through his experience with PFP.
Dan and his wife have called Spring Hill, TN home for the past 25 years. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and films. And in high school he dribbled a basketball for 51 straight hours as a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon at the CBS affiliate in Nashville. Today Dan still stays active, “I take spin classes and rock steady boxing for exercise throughout the week.” He says these exercises have made a world of difference for him and highly recommends anyone living with Parkinson’s to stay active.