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Father’s Day story: Blair Harwood

In 2002, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

I was 39, my son was 11 and I was his soccer and his basketball coach. I worried about what kind of soccer or basketball coach I could be to him, and even what kind of father I could be, as someone with Parkinson’s Disease.

His mother and I had separated when he was two, but we shared custody and lived close to one another, so he generally lived at my place from Saturday to Wednesday and at his Mom`s from Wednesday to Saturday. My life was changing, and I didn’t know how everyone would react.

Well thankfully, the changes that PD had in store for me played out very slowly. Being a mediocre athlete anyway, my coaching duties naturally concluded over the next few years, as they would have anyway. I met someone wonderful who loved me for who I was, and we’ve been married now for over 10 years. And when people ask me about my son, I proudly tell them he is in Kingston finishing up his PhD. In Philosophy.

I had DBS in 2017 which has given me a renewed vigor for life, and I am very much looking forward to my next chapter, which will certainly be bracketed by, but not encompassed by, PD.