REFLECTIONS - Live Well. Do Tell.

 

Framing Off Through Art

"There's nothing better than collaboration to get answers you're looking for" - Steve DeWitte, living with Parkinson’s since 2005

REFLECTIONS

REFLECTIONS
Steve Peters

Steve Peters

REFLECTIONS

Steve’s journey with Parkinson’s began as care partner for his mother, who was living with Parkinson’s and frequently experiencing OFF periods. Her experience contributed to Steve’s fear and denial about his own condition. After his 2012 diagnosis, he overhauled his lifestyle to help manage his Parkinson’s through exercise, treatment and support groups.

Steve now works less hours and enjoys more time with his wife Leslie and their children. Living in Colorado, he spends a lot of time outdoors hiking, not only as a hobby, but to help with his Parkinson’s. Steve’s motor symptoms during OFF periods are often easy to identify, but he also experiences symptoms that are not visible to others, such as feeling disjointed and confused when OFF. His open dialogue with his neurologist has been a vital part to managing his Parkinson’s.

Steve and Leslie found a support group of younger people living well with Parkinson’s, which inspired hope, and now they lead a support group. Leslie is a local and national advocate for Parkinson’s research, serving on the People With Parkinson’s Advisory Council, helping to guide programs and resources. Through his support group, Steve and Leslie help others with Parkinson’s to understand that open and honest communication with your healthcare team is crucial to managing Parkinson’s and OFF period symptoms.

The artwork created by Julie illustrates the importance that family and community play in Steve’s life. From his family to his support group, Steve needs his community to reflect his non-motor and motor OFF symptoms back to him, much like the reflective acrylic used in Julie’s sculpture. The four silhouettes depict Steve, his wife, Leslie, and their two children, with a tulip-covered silhouette at the center nodding to Parkinson’s advocacy and the broader community.

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Perspectives

Steve Peters

Steve started tremoring in 2007 and was misdiagnosed for several years before receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Steve teaches an exercise class for people with Parkinson’s and is also on the board of directors of The Unsteady Hand, a non-profit that focuses on art and creativity labs for people with Parkinson’s.

Steve started tremoring in 2007 and was misdiagnosed for several years before receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Steve received his undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and his MBA at Regis University, with honors from both institutions. Steve worked in the financial sector for over 30 years. Steve’s mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1998. Steve has attended the Policy Forum three times and is on an advocacy committee for the Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies, in addition to being a co-lead of a local support group.

Steve teaches an exercise class for people with Parkinson’s and is also on the board of directors of The Unsteady Hand, a non-profit that focuses on art and creativity labs for people with Parkinson’s. Steve and his son, Noah, recently completed a 52-mile hike called “Pass to Pass” in the Pacific Northwest to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s research.

Steve Peters

Leslie Peters

Leslie Peters has been an advocate for people with Parkinson’s since 2015. Leslie’s mother-in-law was diagnosed in 1998 and her husband’s tremors began in 2007. Leslie started with the Parkinson’s Action Network, attending the Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. to discuss policy issues impacting people with Parkinson’s on Capitol Hill. In 2016, Leslie was asked to serve on the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council.

Leslie Peters has been an advocate for people with Parkinson’s since 2015. Leslie’s mother-in-law was diagnosed in 1998 and her husband’s tremors began in 2007. Leslie started with the Parkinson’s Action Network, attending the Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. to discuss policy issues impacting people with Parkinson’s on Capitol Hill. In 2016, Leslie was asked to serve on the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council. In 2018, Leslie received the Milly Kondracke Award for Outstanding Advocacy at the Policy Forum. Leslie is now the vice chair of the People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council.

Leslie and her husband, Steve, lead an active support group and are highly involved in the community, volunteering at all Parkinson’s Association of the Rockies events and serving on a local advocacy committee. Leslie and Steve were involved in obtaining the statewide proclamation from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper proclaiming April as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month.

Leslie Peters

Matthew Stern, M.D.

Director Emeritus of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Pennsylvania Hospital

Matthew Stern, M.D., is the Parker Family Professor Emeritus of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Director Emeritus of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. Dr. Stern has authored and co-authored numerous papers on Parkinson’s and related disorders and edited or coedited eight books.

Director Emeritus of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Pennsylvania Hospital

Matthew Stern, M.D., is the Parker Family Professor Emeritus of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Director Emeritus of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. Dr. Stern has authored and co-authored numerous papers on Parkinson’s and related disorders and edited or coedited eight books. He has served on the executive committee of the American Academy of Neurology’s Movement Disorders Section and is a fellow of the American Neurological Association and American Academy of Neurology.

In addition to serving as an institutional investigator for numerous clinical trials, Dr. Stern has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of many studies related to Parkinson’s and movement disorders. Dr. Stern serves on numerous consulting boards and has lectured throughout the world. He is an inaugural member of Penn’s Academy of Master Clinicians and is a past president of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, which has awarded him its President Distinguished Service Award and an honorary membership.

Matthew Stern, M.D.

Julie B.

Julie is an artist and craftswoman originally from New York whose mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. She has experience in sculpting, toy making, molding, welding and painting. Julie is a pioneer in the art community for grassroots artists and she started her own full-service fine art design and fabrication studio in Los Angeles called “Pretty In Plastic.”

Julie is an artist and craftswoman originally from New York whose mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. She has experience in sculpting, toy making, molding, welding and painting. Julie is a pioneer in the art community for grassroots artists and she started her own full-service fine art design and fabrication studio in Los Angeles called “Pretty In Plastic.”

Julie’s state-of-the-art studio offers full fabrication and design development services to artists, designers, advertising agencies and entrepreneurs, and includes an extensive list of clients such as Nike, Disney and Nickelodeon. Julie was featured for her work in a profile by LA Weekly.

Julie B.

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