Kirk was previously an advocate on ParkinsonsDisease.net.
Kirk Hall was surprised, to put it mildly, when he was diagnosed by a movement disorder neurologist with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in 2008. He was diagnosed with essential tremor in 1991 and experienced other neurological symptoms in the early 90s, but had been assured multiple times in subsequent years by different neurologists (none of them were movement disorder neurologists) that he did not have PD.
Kirk’s initial response to his PD diagnosis was to learn everything he could about the disease. His primary concern quickly became changes in his cognition, particularly short-term memory and executive function. While this was very useful in helping him advocate for himself, he realized it was becoming an obsession. His faith helped him to decide that he needed to refocus his energy on trying to help others with PD.
Kirk remains amazed that so many things started to happen following that decision that opened new doors connected to his goal of helping others. In 2011, he wrote a book for his grandchildren to help them begin to understand what was happening with their “grampa”. While it was not Kirk’s goal to have it published, he became aware that the message appealed to others with PD who wanted a tool to help them communicate about this difficult subject with their kids or grandkids. Publication of the book led to speaking opportunities, more books, and a wide range of advocacy activities. More information, including his blog and links to PD resources, is available at www.shakypawsgrampa.com.
Click here to read all of Kirk’s articles on ParkinsonsDisease.net.