Department: Photo Essay
Joseph Amodeo, 57.
When were you diagnosed with Parkinson's disease?
I was first misdiagnosed and treated for multiple sclerosis in 1980, then went on Parkinson's meds in 1985.
What helps you deal with the illness?
I try not to let it control my life. I don't deal very well with the down days, but if you fight when you have a down day, it makes your up days even better. And if I don't fight, I get depressed.
You recently published a book, My Moments of Hope (888-280-7715; authorhouse.com). Have you always been a writer?
I never wrote or published a book, but I had dreams. I don't go for this idea that when you're chronically ill you can't do anything. Writing helps me because it gets my feelings out, and my struggle can help other people.
Do you worry about the future?
If I can't walk, I'll use a walker, I'll crawl to a chair, I'll do anything I have to do. You have to have faith—it doesn't stop you from getting diseases, but it helps you deal with it.