Liz Ogren is a 5th grade teacher, Bruce’s wife, mother of teenagers Alex and Evan, and companion of her cockapoo Murphy. After being diagnosed with PD in 2007, she briefly became a self-described couch potato. Her family encouraged her “off the couch” and into a daily exercise routine. What a difference exercise makes! Orgren founded a biking organization called Pedal and Roll for Parkinson’s to encourage others with PD to get off their couch and enjoy the benefits of exercise.
Ogren talks to her students about her Parkinson’s disease and uses it as a teaching example to about living well no matter what. “I’m hoping I can be a role model for the fact that we all have hurdles in life,” says Ogren.
As part of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Ogren shared her Parkinson’s story with KSTP Channel 5 News.
Ogren serves on the Community Advisory Board of the National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota. For more information on Ogren’s Pedal and Roll for Parkinson’s organization, visit www.pedalandroll.org. Photo credit: Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune.
If you want to see Parkinson’s in a new light you only need to drive by Mike Justak’s home in Plymouth, Minnesota. He shines not one light, but more than 50,000 of them. For the holidays his home turns into what he’s dubbed “PD Shimmers,” a Christmas light show synchronized to music, in order to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
“My advice to anyone who has recently been diagnosed with PD is to assemble a team that can help and support you as things evolve. Continue to do the things you like, such as being with friends and going to ball games. Stay positive and have a sense of humor. Things will fall into place as you go.”
Betty Strom was never her Parkinson’s. As the disease made her world ever smaller, her courage and soul expanded. A few days before her death in 2011 at age 80, she begged to join her neighbors in a field trip to Underwater World. That was my mom.