- Parkinson’s disease
The Journey Begins
In her early 30s, Allison was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. While she had faced other medical challenges before, she was not prepared for the way Parkinson’s would impact so many facets of her daily life.
Realizing that she felt alone in her experience, she sought out connections within the Parkinson’s community. Allison made it a goal for herself to educate someone every day on Parkinson’s by sharing her story in all kinds of settings — public interactions with strangers, conversations with colleagues and friends, fitness classes, and more.
Seeking out community and sharing her story led Allison to create her passion project — the Perky Parkie Blog.
Finding a Passion for Giving Back
Allison began to document her daily experiences, leaning into her sense of humor on the Perky Parkie blog to connect with people living with Parkinson’s and share her experiences on the ups and downs of living with a chronic condition. She realized by simply sharing her story, she could help others and spark new perspectives and conversation among her followers.
In 2018, Allison experienced a medical setback unrelated to her Parkinson’s that forced her to take a step back from her blog and focus on her health. During this time, she realized that the community of followers she had built through Perky Parkie had become her support group, helping her get through these difficult times.
And then, the pandemic hit, further isolating people — particularly those living with chronic conditions. Allison felt herself becoming stagnant. She wasn’t connecting with people and wasn’t experiencing new things, so she was not sharing as much. She missed that sense of community.
Today, she’s working her way back into the Parkinson’s community by blogging and making a concerted effort to connect with others more. Since taking a break, she feels as though her perspective has shifted to being more realistic in her story sharing, relying less on humor and more on the reality of her situation. She recognizes the importance of connection and community and is eager to be an active participant once again — and to inspire others to get involved too!