Helen’s Story

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Helen Riordan PhotoMy journey started in November 2018 when I noticed a tremor in my right forearm. I was diagnosed with essential tremor by a neurologist. We tried meds and nothing changed. Being a nurse, I of course took a dive into the internet. My tremor seemed to me to be a resting tremor. After a couple more follow ups to the doctor, she said I could have a DaTscan to rule out Parkinson’s. It was the one time I really didn’t want to be right….but I was.

The next few months were rough emotionally as I felt my tremor worsen. I became very depressed. All I could do is search the internet for answers in between crying jags. I started trying to find any positive stories I could find and any organizations in my area. I came across The Baehr Foundation and Brian’s story. It gave me a glimmer of hope. I texted the organization and received a response that Brian was out of the country and would contact me when he returned. And that he did! I didn’t know him, but he let me cry over the phone. He listened and then asked if I wanted to go boxing. I had never done anything like that before, but I said yes. That was the best thing that ever happened to me (besides my family!). 12th Round Fit is my new home 3 days a week. My coaches Marty and JR are truly phenomenal. I can honestly say I love them …..even while doing 50 crunches!

Brian also started a hiking group and introduced me to a wonderful group of new friends. (Special shout out to my inspiration Debbie Smith!). Having such positive people in my life has made a huge difference in my outlook for the future. I cannot stress enough the importance of positivity and rigorous exercise to combat this disease.

My greatest blessings are my husband Mike and my children, Alicia and Alex. My daughter told me when she found out “You have an army on your side Mom”. My son told me to stay positive and do the things that make me happy. Then there’s Mike (my rock). He held me tight and said, “I’ve got you and I’m never letting go”. He has since been so supportive of my new regime of exercise and friend time. My son even came to see me box, and I think I impressed him! What more can you ask for? Besides a tambourine they jokingly said I was getting for Christmas!

Anyway, my focus is now off myself and on to finding a cure. I look forward to being a part of the Baehr Challenge this coming year. Brian is a true inspiration and a strong force for the Parkinson’s community. He and his family have done so much. Now I’m going to give it my all for my family and friends.

Please join us. It will be fun!

Thank you for reading my story, and I hope you will support us in this fight to end Parkinson’s.

Much Love,
Helen

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