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Janet Reno's Active Life as Parkinson's Therapy

Keller, Michael

Department: Letter

Hollis Hills, N.Y.

    Your feature on Janet Reno's matter-of-fact approach to her Parkinson's disease [Jan/Feb 2006] should serve as an inspiration for patients and caregivers alike. I was especially impressed by her emphasis on physical activity, and was somewhat regretful that my family did not encourage my father to stay active shortly after he first experienced Parkinson's symptoms 35 years ago. He was a lifelong tennis junkie, and his skills quickly deteriorated. “It's as if I never played before!” he'd often lament. This frustration led him to quit playing. Unfortunately, neither we nor his doctors helped him to seek out alternative exercise regimens. Secretary Reno's experience convinces me that doing so might have improved the quality of his later years. The lesson is: So your backhand's gone, nor can you paddle a kayak — so what? Do something else!

    Michael Keller

    Hollis Hills, N.Y.

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