Pat Sousa is a biologist, now retired from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Pat lives in SW Portland with his wife Melanie and is the father of three adult children. He was diagnosed in 1999, when he was 48; his first symptoms were slowness and a slight tremor. Pat had Deep Brain Stimulation surgery in 2011, which allowed him to reduce his dosage of Sinemet to a level where he no longer has dyskinesia. Pat says that currently the most difficult things about having PD are the weakness in his voice and the inability to do quick movements, particularly when dancing.
Pat’s most useful activities in support of his health include dancing several times each week, the Rock Steady boxing program, gardening, birding and walking in the woods.
Pat says: “Having PD certainly sucks, but it isn’t a death sentence; you can learn to live with it. Everyone, whether they have PD or not, has something they’re dealing with: an illness, addiction, emotional issues. PD is just the burden I have, and I’m pretty comfortable with it now. Since having the DBS surgery there aren’t a lot of things that I can’t do because of PD, although it’s always present.”
The photo was taken at Pat’s home.