Robert Baittie, a man living with PD who is also a participant in the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, blogger and author, was recently profiled in Make It Better magazine. An excerpt is below:
It’s impossible to sit across the table from Robert Baittie and not feel hopeful. He radiates a positivity that’s contagious. His is not a shallow perkiness, but rather the deep comfort and calm of a truly content person.
A sunny disposition is easy to maintain when things are good, but a truer measure of character is keeping the right attitude when circumstances change. For Baittie, that change came a little over two years ago when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 52.
Yet as the married father of three sips his tea, he says that he feels physically, emotionally and mentally healthier than he ever has. “The only fact in this situation is that that I have Parkinson’s,” he says. “All the rest—the specific symptoms and their progression—are yet to be determined. I choose not to focus my energy on what might happen. I feel that attitude is helping keep my symptoms at bay.” He believes that we can change the course of disease, and of our lives, by the way we choose to experience the things that happen to us.
Baittie’s experience with Parkinson’s has reinforced his long-held conviction that everything happens for a reason. He explains this view and the gifts that he feels the disease has given him in his recently-released book, “Tremors in the Universe: A Personal Journey of Discovery with Parkinson’s Disease and Spirituality.”
What started as a blog intended to help him process his own feelings about his diagnosis bloomed into an active community and then a book. But it is not a book about Parkinson’s disease. Rather, it’s about learning to live a happier life—a message meant for all of us.
Though his book is out, Baittie’s story isn’t over. He still actively posts on his blog, ending each post with the same three words: “More to come.” He acknowledges that, without a cure, his disease currently has no end in sight. But he chooses to use the sentiment as a personal rallying cry and reminder that he’s not giving up.
Robert encourages his readers to get involved in clinical trials. Learn more about Robert and ways to get involved here.
To find PD clinical trials near you, visit www.foxtrialfinder.org.