Dale Bennett is a retired environmental consultant and an enthusiastic amateur photographer. His goal with this project is to break down stereotypes about people with Parkinson’s disease, using portraits and interviews to show PD patients as the engaged and capable people that we are.
Dale was diagnosed in 2010; his first symptom was a tremor in his left hand, which first appeared in 2003 at the age of 50. Since that time Dale has found that, aside from drugs, the most effective treatment has been exercise and meditation. Exercise is especially helpful, and Dale’s daily program combines strength, endurance and yoga classes at a nearby gym, along with riding his bicycle, walking, and dancing Argentine tango. Dale had Deep Brain Stimulation surgery in February 2014. His most difficult symptom is Restless Legs Syndrome, which he controls with the drug Mirapex, but which is extremely painful if he forgets.
Dale’s tremor makes it impossible to hide his condition, which on balance he finds a good thing, but which can also be difficult. Like many PD patients, Dale finds it harder than in the past to do things that require complex multi-tasking, and this has made it difficult to pursue his career.
Dale says, “I have learned from having PD that most people care about me and will help me out.” His message to both other PD patients and others is, “Don’t wait to have the life you want. Learn to accept help now. Learn to help others now.”
Dale is the author of a blog detailing the ups and downs of his life with PD, you canfind it here.