110 episodes

Larry Gifford has Parkinson’s disease, and he wants to talk about it. When Life Gives You Parkinson’s chronicles Larry’s journey following diagnosis at age 45, but he knows he’s only part of the story. The podcast gives voice to the fascinating people that make up the Parkinson’s community and beyond — his family, his fellow people with Parkinson’s, care partners, advocates, researchers and healthcare providers. Through these interviews, the podcast informs and inspires others to share their own stories revealing the challenges and growth offered by the Parkinson’s journey. Larry is a seasoned broadcaster and the podcast is co-hosted by then-radio personality Niki Reitmayer until 2020 when Larry’s wife Rebecca takes on the role. Special thank you to our partners. Presenting partner is Parkinson Canada, content and promotional partner Spotlight YOPD, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research Parkinson’s IQ + You, PD Avengers, World Parkinson Congress #WPC2023 in Barcelona, Spain.

When Life Gives You Parkinson's Curiouscast

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.4 • 241 Ratings

Larry Gifford has Parkinson’s disease, and he wants to talk about it. When Life Gives You Parkinson’s chronicles Larry’s journey following diagnosis at age 45, but he knows he’s only part of the story. The podcast gives voice to the fascinating people that make up the Parkinson’s community and beyond — his family, his fellow people with Parkinson’s, care partners, advocates, researchers and healthcare providers. Through these interviews, the podcast informs and inspires others to share their own stories revealing the challenges and growth offered by the Parkinson’s journey. Larry is a seasoned broadcaster and the podcast is co-hosted by then-radio personality Niki Reitmayer until 2020 when Larry’s wife Rebecca takes on the role. Special thank you to our partners. Presenting partner is Parkinson Canada, content and promotional partner Spotlight YOPD, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research Parkinson’s IQ + You, PD Avengers, World Parkinson Congress #WPC2023 in Barcelona, Spain.

    I Don’t Care Just Call It Apathy

    I Don’t Care Just Call It Apathy

    One of the dark symptoms of Parkinson’s is apathy. Describing apathy is a bit like describing what it feels like when a dementor in the Harry Potter books kisses a character – the ability to drain happiness and hope from its victims. When a person with Parkinson’s spirals into a an apathetic state they lack motivation and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. To experience apathy is like being in a bubble of indifference. You stop caring about yourself or other people in your life with a total void of emotion.
    In this episode we hear firsthand from Jeff and Kristin Krantz what it’s like as a person with Parkinson’s living in a apathetic state and how it impacts the care partner and others in the family. Dr. Bradley McDaniel offers advice on how to escape apathy through pursuit of your meaning in life. 

    EMAIL Larry and Rebecca: ParkinsonsPod@curiouscast.ca
    Have questions, comments, or a story idea? 
    We would love you to click here and leave a message https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons
    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 
    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod
    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod
    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    KEY LINKS 
    Dr. Bradley McDaniels https://hps.unt.edu/bradley-mcdaniels-phd-crc 
    Resources Mentioned
    Ending Parkinson’s Disease book by Ray Dorsey MD, Michael Okun MD, Todd Sherer PhD and Bas Bloem MD, PhD
    Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
    The Spirituality of Imperfection Storytelling and the Search for Meaning by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketchum 
    Jeff & Kristen Krantz
    Thanks to Curiouscast
    Dila Velazquez – Story Producer

    Our Presenting Partner is Parkinson Canada. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call the toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 or on Twitter you can message @ParkinsonCanada.

    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners 
    The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s IQ + You Events
    PD Avengers – We are building a global alliance to end Parkinson’s. Join us. 
    World Parkinson Congress 2023 – It’s time to make your congress and hotel registrations. Details on the website. 
    Spotlight YOPD – One of the only Parkinson’s organizations dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. 

    • 51 min
    Live Inspired with John O'Leary

    Live Inspired with John O'Leary

    When John O’Leary was a nine-year-old boy, he was burned on 100% of his body. He was in his garage playing with matches and gasoline—just like he’d had seen the older boys on his block do. A fire exploded, consuming the garage, sending him flying back against the wall and turning his whole world upside down. He talks with Larry & Rebecca about how he was given 1% chance to live. Now, 36-years later, John is living an inspired life. He has two national best-selling books “On Fire” and “In Awe.” he’s a podcast host, an in-demand international speaker and is someone who intimately understands the impact that Parkinson’s can have on a family.
    Email Larry and Rebecca: ParkinsonsPod@curiouscast.ca
    Have questions, comments, or a story idea?
    We would love you to click here and leave a message  https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons
    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 
    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod
    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod
    Instagram: @parkinsonspod
    KEY LINKS
    John O’Leary Website www.JohnOLearyInspires.com
    Live Inspired Podcast https://johnolearyinspires.com/podcast/
    ·        Episode featuring Larry & Rebecca Gifford and When Life Gives You Parkinson’s
    Books
    ·        On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life
    ·        In Awe: Rediscover our childlike wonder + unleash inspiration, meaning and joy.
    Facebook @JohnOLearyRisingAbove
    Instagram @joholeary.inspires
    Linked In @John-O-Leary-08b2805
    Twitter @JOLearyInspires
    Thanks to Curiouscast
    Dila Velazquez – Story Producer
    Greg Schott – Sound Design
    Our Presenting Partner is Parkinson Canada. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call the toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 or on Twitter you can message @ParkinsonCanada.
    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners
    The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s IQ + You Events
    PD Avengers – We are building a global alliance to end Parkinson’s. Join us.
    World Parkinson Congress 2023 – It’s time to make your congress and hotel registrations. Details on the website. 
    Spotlight YOPD – One of the only Parkinson’s organizations dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  

    • 56 min
    Being Well with Parkinson’s

    Being Well with Parkinson’s

    Kat Hill and Nancy Peate are the authors of Being Well with a Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy and Resilience with Your Diagnosis. In their book they offer wisdom, language, research-supported guidance and personal stories to help people with Parkinson’s and other chronic conditions navigate their wellness journey. In this episode, Rebecca talks with the authors — who also happen to be good friends — about their own experiences with Parkinson’s and how they have cultivated tools to find joy and resilience. Larry and Rebecca also discuss and offer their reactions to the book.
    EMAIL Larry and Rebecca: ParkinsonsPod@curiouscast.ca
    Have questions, comments, or a story idea? We would love you to click here and leave a message https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons
    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 
    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod
    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod
    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    KEY LINKS 
    Being Well with Chronic Illness: A Guide to Joy & Resilience with Your Diagnosis
    by Kat Kill and Nancy Peate (Paperback and e-Book)
    Penguin Random House United States US$18.00 Canada C$23.00 Australia A$32.99
    WHSmith (UK) United Kingdom £15.63
    PD Lemonade – Kat Hill’s podcast
    VIDEO: Advocacy Pyramid ARTICLE: Tom Isaac’s Advocacy Pyramid explained from Grand Challenges 2014
    Women’s Parkinson’s Project

    Thanks to 
    Dila Velazquez – Story Producer
    Greg Schott – Sound Design
    Our Presenting Partner is Parkinson Canada. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call the toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 or on Twitter you can message @ParkinsonCanada.
    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners 
    The Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Podcast hosted by Larry Gifford 
    PD Avengers – We are building a global alliance to end Parkinson’s. Join us. 
    World Parkinson Congress 2023 – It’s time to make your congress and hotel registrations. Details on the website. 

    Spotlight YOPD – One of the only Parkinson’s organizations dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. 

    • 47 min
    What’s Your Superpower? Feat. Geoff Constable

    What’s Your Superpower? Feat. Geoff Constable

    Geoff Constable is a PD Avenger and an Ambassador for the World Parkinson Congress 2023 in Barcelona. We met at the last WPC2019 in Kyoto. Like many of us with YOPD, Geoff’s diagnosis was delayed six years as doctors tried to figure out root issue of his symptoms. In 2008, at the age of 50, he finally was able to put a name to the issues he had, Parkinson’s disease.
    Geoff spent his teen years sleeping on friends couches and sometimes living on the street. He earned a degree in Naval Architecture and designed 16 Ships for the Royal Australian Navy and spent countless hours battle testing the ships in extreme conditions. 
    At 44-years old he talked to his doctor about onsetting symptoms. It took six years to diagnose him with Young Onset Parkinson’s. He was happy to have a name for it, but bummed because there was no cause, no cure, and no standard disease path. 
    Listen to how Geoff took his diagnosis of Parkinson’s and discovered his own superpowers on how to incorporate and accept it. Using his own body as vessel, he put himself through battle testing and discovered he was capable of far more than he or his doctors believed possible. 

    EMAIL Larry and Rebecca: ParkinsonsPod@curiouscast.ca
    Have questions, comments, or a story idea? We would love you to click here and leave a message https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons
    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 
    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod
    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod
    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    KEY LINKS 
    WPC2023 Registration and Hotel
    Geoff Constable’s blog
    VIDEO: Geoff Constable’s 2022 Moomba performance

    Thanks to 
    Dila Velazquez – Story Producer
    Greg Schott – Sound Design
     
    Our Promotional Partners include: 
    Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call the toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 or on Twitter you can message @ParkinsonCanada.

    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners 
    The Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Podcast hosted by Larry Gifford as featured in the MJFF2021 Year in Review. 
    PD Avengers – We are building a global alliance to end Parkinson’s. Join us. 
    World Parkinson Congress 2023 – It’s time to make your congress and hotel registrations. Details on the website. 
    Spotlight YOPD – One of the only Parkinson’s organizations dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. 

    • 51 min
    What’s New and Now in Parkinson’s

    What’s New and Now in Parkinson’s

    Updates on several stories we’ve shared on the podcast. Reactions to the three-minute test to diagnose Parkinson’s. The final 30km on a cross-country bike tour for Parkinson’s leaves bikers spinning their wheels. * We catch up with the Rigid Riders. Plus, Ozzy Osbourne on stage for the first time since his Parkinson’s diagnosis. *Don’t forget to push the donut button. 
    EMAIL Larry and Rebecca: ParkinsonsPod@curiouscast.ca
    Have questions, comments, or a story idea? We would love you to click here and leave a message https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons
    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 
    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod
    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod
    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    KEY LINKS 
    Spinning Wheels - www.spinningwheelstour.ca 
    Spinning Wheels – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR1_sRarZ_nt6neUqAXNMPw 

    Thanks to 
    Dila Velazquez – Story Producer
    Greg Schott – Sound Design
    University of Manchester
    Jim Redmond
    Steve Iseman
    Mike Loghrin
    Darlene Richards-Loghrin
    BBC Sport
    “The Talk” on Talk TV Network
    And YOU!

    Our Promotional Partners include: 
    Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call the toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 or on Twitter you can message @ParkinsonCanada.

    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners 
    The Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Podcast hosted by Larry Gifford as featured in the MJFF2021 Year in Review. 
    PD Avengers – We are building a global alliance to end Parkinson’s. Join us. 
    World Parkinson Congress 2023 – It’s time to start thinking about making your plans to join us for #WPC2023 in Barcelona, Spain for the sixth triennial congress. 
    Spotlight YOPD – One of the only Parkinson’s organizations dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. 

    • 40 min
    A 3-minute test for a Parkinson’s diagnosis

    A 3-minute test for a Parkinson’s diagnosis

    This is a breakthrough, breaking news episode featuring Professor Perdita Barran, University of Manchester and Joy Milne, the woman who can smell Parkinson’s. Today. their latest research paper was published at 12:01am (BST) September 7, 2022. This research has led to a three-minute non-invasive test to determine a positive or negative Parkinson’s diagnosis. Clinical Research will begin within two years at University of Manchester and has the potential to be approved as a diagnostic tool for neurologists before the end of the decade.

    LISTEN TO JOY MILNE in previous episodes
    June 05, 2019                The Woman Who Can Smell Parkinson’s | World Parkinson Congress | Kyoto
    October 20, 2019           The Smell of Parkinson’s

    EMAIL Larry and Rebecca: ParkinsonsPod@curiouscast.ca
    Have questions, comments, or a story idea? We would love you to click here and leave a message  https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons

    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 
    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod
    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod
    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    Thanks to
    Dila Velazquez – Story Producer
    Greg Schott – Sound Design

    Our Promotional Partners include: 
    Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call the toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000 or on Twitter you can message @ParkinsonCanada.

    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners
    The Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Podcast hosted by Larry Gifford as featured in the MJFF2021 Year in Review.
    PD Avengers – We are building a global alliance to end Parkinson’s. Join us.
    World Parkinson Congress 2023 – It’s time to start thinking about making your plans to join us for #WPC2023 in Barcelona, Spain for the sixth triennial congress.
    Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.  

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
241 Ratings

241 Ratings

Caseyshap ,

... Make Time to Listen

When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is an honest, funny and engaging podcast chronicling host Larry Gifford’s personal journey with Parkinson’s disease.

Gifford, his wife Rebecca and their son, Henry live in Vancouver, British Columbia. Gifford has worked as a radio reporter and manager for almost 30 years. On August 17, 2017, Gifford was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 45. A year later, on June 29, 2018, he started recording his podcast. Now in its second season, When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is a first-hand account of what it’s like to live with Parkinson’s disease for Gifford, his family, and other members of the Parkinson’s community.

Along with co-host/producer, Niki Reitmeyer, the episodes in Gifford’s second season are released every second Wednesday, with bonus episodes called “Extra Dosage” in between. He shares his journey with Parkinson’s through conversation with and audio clips of Reitmeyer, his family, medical professionals, experts, and other patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Gifford’s podcast works best when it is honest and personal. In the first episode of season two, “Still Me, But Not The Same”, Gifford shares the changes that he and his family have noticed in him in the past year. Gifford updates listeners on his symptoms, and his wife and son talk candidly about his changing behaviours. Rebecca gives examples of Gifford’s shortened fuse, and 10-year-old Henry tells his dad that his friends are afraid of him. It’s heartbreaking until Gifford asks, “How’s my walking?”, and Henry responds with an over-exaggerated, “Terrible!”

In “Extra Dosage: Fundraising is a Family Affair”, listeners have the opportunity to meet Gifford’s extended family in Pickerington, Ohio. His nephew, Anthony Kerman, 32, is an avid runner who organized a 5K walk/run called “Tremor Trot”. The race raised $8,000 for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Gifford’s family is supportive but worried. Gifford’s mother tells him that she thinks he’s doing too much and she’s worried that he’s never at home with his family.

Gifford’s show is educational too. In the “Extra Dosage” episodes, the podcast highlights a series of free events called “Parkinson’s IQ + You” from The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Gifford will be travelling around the United States to host these events in the coming months.

In “Extra Dosage: Dyskinesia”, the listener learns about dyskinesia. Dyskinesia is uncontrolled, involuntary movements that occur as a reaction to the long-term drug, levodopa. Fellow Parkinson’s patients Jim Smerdon and Becca Miller join Gifford to talk about their experiences with dyskinesia. It’s interesting and informative, but when it’s not relatable to the listener, it’s not as engaging.

The podcast doesn’t advertise products, but there are presenting partners. Parkinson Canada, Spotlight YOPD, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research Parkinson’s IQ + You are organizations and events concerned with Parkinson’s disease, and a great match for the target audience. Judging by the reviews, a lot of Gifford’s listeners are people who have Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones.

Gifford and his family have opened up their lives to their listeners. Using humour to diffuse heavy content, Gifford keeps the tone of the podcast positive and light. When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is engaging and relatable, especially when it is about Gifford’s family. In the moments where the podcast becomes more educational, it can sometimes start to lose its audience. All in all, When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is an inspiring and honest podcast which invites the listener to share the experience of living with a family member who has Parkinson’s disease.

Scotty MacM ,

Issues with editing

There appears to be an issue with the editing on the latest episode of when life gives you Parkinson’s. A lot of overlapping with questions and answers. This has unfortunately detracted from the very important content covered on this episode

taro1504 ,

Amazing information

I was a caregiver of a common law partner who has Parkinson’s . We are no longer living together, as the disease took over and we had no choice but to move him into a care home.
I wish I had known of this podcast while I was living thru his and my journey with Parkinson’s
Very informative, can’t believe how much the story is very similar to my life.
Thank you very much for this podcast, I greatly appreciate it!!

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