85 episodes

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 in radio for nearly 30 years. In August 2017 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 45. Now in its second season, When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is a first-hand account of what it is like to live with PD for Gifford, his family, and other members of the worldwide Parkinson’s community.

Answering probing questions from co-host Niki Reitmayer and letting listeners eavesdrop in on intimate chats with his wife, Gifford uses humour to diffuse heavy content and give the podcast a hopeful tone. He gives voice to Parkinson’s experts and advocates from around the world and together they openly tackle tough topics. The authentic, frank conversations along with compelling storytelling is what makes this podcast interesting, informative, and enlightening.

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.

When Life Gives You Parkinson'‪s‬ Curiouscast

    • Medicine
    • 4.8 • 20 Ratings

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 in radio for nearly 30 years. In August 2017 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 45. Now in its second season, When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is a first-hand account of what it is like to live with PD for Gifford, his family, and other members of the worldwide Parkinson’s community.

Answering probing questions from co-host Niki Reitmayer and letting listeners eavesdrop in on intimate chats with his wife, Gifford uses humour to diffuse heavy content and give the podcast a hopeful tone. He gives voice to Parkinson’s experts and advocates from around the world and together they openly tackle tough topics. The authentic, frank conversations along with compelling storytelling is what makes this podcast interesting, informative, and enlightening.

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.

    All about falling: the down side of PD

    All about falling: the down side of PD

    Hi, it’s Larry. I’m 49 and I have Parkinson’s disease. This episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is about managing falls. It is winter and where we live snow and ice and black ice and freezing rain are all hazards, which increase everyone’s chances of falling. People with Parkinson’s are more prone to slipping and stumbling, skidding and tumbling to the ground. So, we should talk about it. I didn’t consider it a topic I’d need to know much about until I get much older. I was wrong. One reason we're doing this episode is because over the holidays I had four falls.  

    I am on the mend with help from NeuroFit BC’s Naomi Casiro. Rebecca and I talk with Physiotherapist Nicole Ascera, PhD. She’s a clinical specialist in neurosciences and wrote the Parkinson Canada Guide on Preventing Falls. I also meet the creator of the ACTIVATOR Poles by Urban Poling, Mandy Shintani. These are great tools especially for gait, balance and confidence issues.

    Through the episode, Rebecca and I realize we have a lot to do to prepare mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually for the next fall. And the fall after that one. And the one after that one.

    Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons

    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 

    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    Thank you to the following people featured in this episode:

    Naomi Casiro (Founder/ Registered Physiotherapist) BSc. (Kin), MPT, Certified PWR! https://www.neurofitbc.com/

    Nicole Acerra, PhD Nicole Acerra, PhD, is a physiotherapist with a passion for neurological and vestibular rehabilitation. She is one of the authors of the Parkinson Canada’s Preventing Falls Guide

    Mandy Shintani OT & Gerontologist, Developer ACTIVATOR Poles & Founder Urban Poling Inc.

    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.

    Here is a link to the Parkinson’s Canada Preventing Falls Guide.

    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners

    The Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Podcast hosted by Larry Gifford

    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. 

    PD Avengers - United to end Parkinson’s. Join us.World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 50 min
    Empowerment through the integrative medicine approach

    Empowerment through the integrative medicine approach

    In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, my wife Rebecca and I discover and discuss integrative medicine with Dr. Indu Subramanian. Integrative medicine is where Western and Eastern medicines meet. Activities we all are aware of like yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture and massage are among the activities that fall into integrative medicine.

    I first met Indu when she interviewed me on a webinar for PMD Alliance in September 2020. Indu is Canadian, having been born and raised in Ontario, she now lives in LA. She runs the Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s at the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital and is a neurologist on staff at UCLA hospital. She’s also certified in Integrated Medicine, has more than 200 hours of yoga training and loves to explore unconventional and non-pharma treatments to improve life for people with PD.

    Her study on loneliness during the pandemic causing an increase of PD symptoms was widely reported on in medical journals, newspapers and popular magazines alike. She is approachable, positive, curious, and empowering. We talk about her love of the brain, the PD Avengers, the power of storytelling, and why integrative medicine does come with some warning labels. We hope you will enjoy this conversation as much as we do.

    Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons

    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 

    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    Thank you to the following people featured in this episode:

    Dr. Indu Subramanian, Movement Neurologist over seeing Parkinson’s Center of Excellence at the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital and a neurologist at UCLA Hospital. Follow her on twitter at @drisubramanian 

    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

    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. 

    PD Avengers - United to end Parkinson’s. Join us.

    World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain.

    Credits

    Dila Velazquez – Story Producer

    Greg Schott – Sound Design

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 47 min
    Advocacy, collaboration and Parkinson’s in 2021 – featuring Dr. Karen Lee and Eli Pollard

    Advocacy, collaboration and Parkinson’s in 2021 – featuring Dr. Karen Lee and Eli Pollard

    In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, my wife Rebecca and I are talking with two leaders of Parkinson's organizations about the impact coronavirus has had on advocacy, collaboration, new programs. Karen Lee and Elizabeth “Eli” Pollard are true leaders with serious minds and senses of humor, and both are visionary when it comes to bringing the Parkinson community together with a purpose. 

    Dr. Karen Lee took on the role of President and CEO of Parkinson’s Canada in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. She’s taking the work-at-home mandate as a chance to meet and get to know her staff, advocates, and leaders of other organizations virtually, “We talk with all the various groups, look for opportunities, synergies, it's not about trying to compete and were not looking to duplicate efforts, but really looking for efficiencies and opportunities.” Parkinson Canada is also establishing a Parkinson Advisory Council to help inform decisions and make recommendations to the charity.

    Eli Pollard, Executive Director of World Parkinson Coalition, would typically make 12 to 15 trips to various destinations as she plans for the World Parkinson Congress 2022 in Barcelona. With travel restricted by COVID-19, she has been busy creating new programs including a dual language webinar series where the same presenters host a webinar first in English and then thirty minutes later in Spanish.  She’s also just announced that May 17-21, 2021 is the inaugural VIRTUAL World Parkinson Congress, “We've been chewing on this idea for a long time and COVID sort of pushed our hand, which is great. So it would be sort of “year one” is the in-person Congress, “year two” and “year three” would be a virtual Congress. And so we're calling it WPC Virtual.” This year’s theme is advancing science care and living with Parkinson's. Their will be around 80 presenter's, with 5 tracks, but all the content for each day will be release at once for virtual attendees to watch it at their convenience. There will be live Q&A sessions 24 hours after each scheduled session. The WPC Virtual admission is $25.00, all inclusive.                                     

    Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons

    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 

    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    Thank you to the following people featured in this episode:

    Dr. Karen Lee – President and CEO of Parkinson Canada@Dr_KarenLee
    To learn more about the Parkinson Advisory Council https://www.parkinson.ca/listing/parkinson-advisory-council-member/

    Eli Pollard – Executive Director, World Parkinson Coalition #WPC2022
    For more information on Dual Language webinars https://www.worldpdcoalition.org/page/webinarseries
    For more information on 2021’s VIRTUAL World Parkinson Congress https://www.worldpdcoalition.org/page/WPCVirtual
    For more information on the WPC Research Spotlight https://www.worldpdcoalition.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1470125
    For more information on 2022’s World Parkinson Congress in Barcelona https://www.worldpdcoalition.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1470125

    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

    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. 

    PD Avengers - United to end Parkinson’s. Join us.

    World Parkinson Congress 2022 –M

    • 1 hr 4 min
    17 Things That Give Me Hope About Parkinson’s

    17 Things That Give Me Hope About Parkinson’s

    In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, Larry and Rebecca Gifford welcome 2021 by digging through a sack full of hope. Each week there seems to be another headline that signals major breakthroughs – as in bio-markers and disease altering treatments – are just around the corner for Parkinson’s. We talk to two people who confirm we are on the precipice of major changes in how we view and treat the disease. 

    However, it is not just about the diagnosis and treatments. PD advocates come in all shapes and sizes – from 80 year old driveway walkers, to middle aged soccer players, to geeks and nerds sitting behind a computer screen. Each are unleashing their super powers on the PD community and owning it. Get ready for lasers in your head, a race with the moon and the inaugural Parkython. Plus, there’s a tomato… a laser… a magic ring…  Uma Thurman….Barcelona, and a serious discussion of wearables for non-invasive measuring of dopamine levels.

    If you are a half-glass empty person, this episode will either be so packed with hope is shooting out your ears or you will have 17 more great, positive, groundbreaking, even life changing, “wow” moment things to find flaw with.

    Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons

    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 

    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    Thank you to the following people featured in this episode:

    David Vocadlo, Canada Research Chair in Chemical Biology, Simon Fraser University. His research website is here.

    Debi Brooks, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Listen to Episode One of the podcast series “Milestones and Momentum in Parkinson’s Research”

    Charlie Appleyard –  Learn about Sport Parkinsons here. The “Race the Moon” announcement will be on Monday, January 11, 2021.

    Rui Cuoto – Read about Parkython (Parkinsons + Hackathon) and register to be a part of it!

    Kevin Krejci – Learn more about the Oura Ring we discussed. 

    John Dean – For details on the EPDA’s Keep on Moving and ExerciseCast click the links. 

    Ralph & Berys Richardson – Check out Team Ralph on the SuperWalk website

    Greg Hicks – Greg documents Ralph’s campaign on Facebook

    Special thanks to Pulp Fiction and Uma Thurman’s tomato joke, Dave Clark (Happy 10th-Parkyversary), the generic voice guy for Vie Light, and Babe Ruth for calling his shot. Here’s a link to the photo of the Levodopa Tomato.

    Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000, on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada

    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners

    The Michael J. Fox Foundation Parkinson’s Podcast hosted by Larry Gifford

    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. 

    PD Avengers - United to end Parkinson’s. Join us.

    World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Keep Walking. Keep Laughing

    Keep Walking. Keep Laughing

    In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, you will meet Ralph and Berys Richardson who have been married 52 years. Five years ago, doctors diagnosed Ralph with Lewy Body Dementia and then Parkinson’s disease a few years later. When COVID-19 hit, Ralph’s usual exercise programs were cancelled. So, with the help of Berys and his caretaker Greg Hicks, he decided to walk up and down his driveway everyday. He set his mind to doing 30 laps. He reach his goal in 17 days. Then he set his sights a bit higher, walk 100 days to raise $10,000. More than 200 days later, he’s still walking and he’s raised more than $30,000 for Parkinson Canada.

    Also, this episode is the final episode for contributor Niki Reitmayer. We say farewell and good luck.

    Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons

    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 

    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    A fond farewell to Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer. We love you, will miss you and wish all the best. Thanks for going on this journey with us.

    Thank you to the following people featured in this episode:

    Ralph & Berys Richardson – Check out Team Ralph on the SuperWalk website

    Greg Hicks – Greg documents Ralph’s campaign on Facebook

    Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000, on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada

    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners

    Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation

    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.

    PD Avengers - We want to help end Parkinson’s disease. Join us.

    World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain.

     

    Credits

    Dila Velazquez – Story Producer

    Greg Schott – Sound Design

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    When dopamine agonists lead to agony

    When dopamine agonists lead to agony

    In this episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, what happens when the side effects of your medication are causing more harm than the disease itself? Many people with Parkinson’s are treated with dopamine agonists, which work perfectly for thousands of people, but can cause uncontrollable, destructive behaviors for others. Among the issues are compulsive shopping, hyper-sexuality, binge eating, internet addictions, and excessive gambling. Larry, Rebecca and Niki will introduce you to two people with Parkinson’s who experienced impulse control disorder while on agonists. One of them gained 60 pounds and the other went deep in debt, lost her inhibitions, her job and nearly everything else.

    Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here; https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons

    Follow us, Larry & Rebecca Gifford 

    Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

    Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

    Instagram: @parkinsonspod

    Follow Co-host and Producer Niki Reitmeyer

    Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer

    Thank you to the following people featured in this

    Vicki Dillon – PwP, follow Vicki on Twitter and her website

    Ken Robinson – Vicki’s Partner                                                                                                         

    Susan O’Rourke – PwP, President of Artfront Galleries in Newark, NJ

    Dr. Elana Clar – Neurologist, Movement Disorder Specialist, New Jersey Brain and Spine

    Dave Andrews – PwP, Follow Dave on Twitter

    Gil Thelon – PwP, Gil writes about Parkinson’s at www.shufflingeditor.com

    Dr. Jonathon Squires – Neurologist, Movement Disorder Specialist at Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health

    Special thanks to Niki Reitmayer for sharing her findings from her UBC Psych 301 Final: Impulse Control Disorders: The Strange Side Effect of Dopamine Agonists When Used to Treat Parkinson’s Disease.

    CREDIT: Sex, Lies and Parkinson’s Documentary 2011, Channel 4 production. Directed by Oliver Cheetham, Produced by Oliver Cheetham and James Rogan

    Diagnosed with Parkinson’s? You are not alone. Contact presenting partner Parkinson Canada http://www.parkinson.ca/, call toll free hotline 1-800-565-3000, on Twitter @ParkinsonCanada

    Thanks also to our content and promotional partners

    Parkinson’s IQ + You– A free, series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation

    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. 

    PD Avengers - We want to help end Parkinson’s disease. Join us.

    World Parkinson Congress 2022 –Make plans to join us for #WPC2022 in Barcelona, Spain.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

Itchyknickers ,

Has helped me so much with my diagnosis

I was diagnosed with PD in October 2019, aged 46 and this podcast has really helped me get my head round it. So much of what Larry talks about resonates with me and it’s also good to hear his guests’ different perspectives and experiences. Thanks so much Larry for caring and taking the time to create this podcast

Izzthebizz ,

Excellent

My mother has Parkinson’s and this podcast is really helping me to understand that some of her symptoms, such as loss of taste, result from her condition.

All credit to Larry and the team for this excellent and informative podcast. Keep it up!

Twitchy Hitchy ,

Great podcast

I love the fairly laid back approach to a really serious subject. Very enlightning and some great interviews and observations. I feel like I have a lot in common with Larry. I too was diagnosed with Parkinsons at 45 (two years ago) and suffer with very similar symptoms. Keep up the good work and I look forward to future episodes.

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