At 43 years old, Bill Winslow was a seemingly healthy man with a good job and loving family. But in 2010, his whole life changed when he was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease. At the time, he didn’t know a lot about the disease or how it would affect his livelihood. He became depressed and started to gain weight.
But when his wife was transferred to the Bay Area for a job a few years ago, his outlook changed. He was introduced to a new set of doctors at the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center and found a new lease on life. He began exercising and participating in a boxing program, which he said helped him with his daily symptoms, including shaking in his hands. He also lost 50 pounds and began to raise awareness about the disease, to show others that they can still live productive lives.
“I wanted to give back while I could,” he said. “Every nine minutes someone new is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which equates to 160 people a day. To raise awareness, I did 160 push-ups each day for the whole month of April.”
Along with his medical team and fellow patients, Winslow recently took part in the “Pushups for Parkinson’s” event at the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center. The event, which Bill started last year, helps raise awareness for Parkinson’s while participants do push-ups.
“The more active you are, the more you can keep these symptoms back,” said Winslow. “Like my dad always said, a moving target is hard to hit. You have to move with this disease.”
He said he’s been able to reach out and connect with local Bay Area Parkinson’s patients over the past two years and has encouraged them to stay fit and keep going, just like him.