Patient Stories: Don


“Some mornings I can do the crossword puzzle, others I can’t. Sometimes I can hold my book to read, sometimes not.” After living with Parkinson’s for nearly 15 years, Don has no doubts about its effects. “It’s a whimsical and capricious disease. It takes away your spontaneity. You feel helpless.”

Don Wiley, Struthers Parkinson's Center patientPark Nicollet Struthers Parkinson’s Center has helped Don surmount the physical limitations of his body. “When I first began having trouble with my legs, I shuffled around like an old man,” he recalls. “Struthers taught me how to walk with confidence.” To demonstrate, he lengthens his stride and firmly plants his heel with each step. Struthers also taught Don an easier way to get out of bed – and has helped him deal with the new challenges of going to movies, a favorite hobby.

Both Don and Margaret, his wife of 45 years, appreciate the center’s commitment to balancing physical and emotional care. “Parkinson’s is an illness that affects your self-image,” he says. “You need a deep philosophical and spiritual mindset. The staff at Struthers understands that. It’s a sensitive, caring institution. Every day I thank God for Struthers.”

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