Education, Healthier Lifestyle & Continuing to Make a Difference are some of the Best Remedies for Chronic Illnesses

March 9, 2018

No one is really prepared. No matter how aware a person is that they are very likely to have to deal with one, if not several, life-changing adversities, they inevitably still take us by surprise. I have had Parkinson’s disease since 2002 when was 41 years old. I did not cause this in any way, shape or form. But it really does not matter that I was not at fault. Whether you are at fault, another party is at fault, or no one is at fault does not really matter, you are where you are and have to move forward. You have to get passed the emotion and stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance).

Education. I recommend that you put a plan together including specific daily action steps. In order to come up with a plan that has the greatest chance of success, a substantial amount of education is required. Whether it be a chronic illness or, for that matter, the death of a loved one, financial bankruptcy, addiction, or any other life-changing adversity, there are a tremendous amount of resources available. You just need to get on your computer and do the work. There may be some conflicting data. Here is where national and local resources come into play.

Healthier Lifestyle. The next thing that I recommend is not the first thing that would come to mind. When you are dealing with a life-changing adversity, it will affect your health even more than it is already affected. Your immune system is stressed in the base case. The best thing that you can do is to adopt a healthier lifestyle. If you are anything like me, I always had the intention of doing this. Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, push me over the edge into the world of eating the right food, doing the right exercise, drinking the right amount of water, etc. You might even call this, though it is strange to say, a positive side of being diagnosed with some chronic illnesses. You, in essence, no longer have a choice if you want not only the highest quality of life possible but want to live as long as possible. Today, I am in the best shape of my life. I trimmed down from 215 to 170 and have a toned flat core. I would not have put in the work to become health had I not been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Make a difference. The third remedy for a chronic illness is to make a difference. This can be anything. It is completely subjective. If you feel that you are making a difference, then you are. The beautiful thing about Parkinson’s (there I go again) is that you know now that you are not going to live forever and you can prioritize what you do with your time differently. You can vocalize how much you love your family and friends. It may even prompt you to reconnect with someone from whom you have become estranged. Making a difference makes you feel that your life was worthwhile. What else could we possibly hope for?


“After two years of not being able to hear speakers in person , I was thrilled to have John Bauman as a speaker at our “ Living Well With Parkinson’s’ Gala!. Not only was John engaging and inspiring to get to know off stage , on stage he truly drove home the theme of empowerment to our audience and left our growing community of attendees with several “ aha “ moments and desire to hear more. He spoke from personal experience as a Parkinson’s patient ,inspiring the audiences motivation to truly wish to make a difference and uniting us all in our humanity. Attendees after listening to John , felt inspired to make a difference in the world and do their part to create change for those living with Parkinson’s. My only regret was not being able to spend more time with John and I look forward to having him speak again to our audience.”

Naomi Wong WPP Program Manager

John’s message of hope, inspiration and laughter was ideal for anyone living with PD. He was extremely flexible and a delight to work with.

Leisha Phipps, MSW Program Director - Dallas Area Parkinson Society

We all felt inspired and enjoyed listening to your presentation. Even though we are not living with Parkinson’s, we felt boost of motivation to continue helping those who are living with this disease. I am motivated to make more personal phone calls to people living with PD and asking how they are doing. Sometimes that “extra” bit of kindness truly makes a difference to someone. I am also motivated to research program ideas and partner with other organizations that may have similar values.

I learned that life is unexpected and that you cannot control it. What matters is your attitude!

-Great way to end the day, brave man, thank you very much!

-Good, excellent, great, outstanding speaker, very moving!

-Inspirational who just “gets it”

-Positive thinker and very funny!

-Honest speaker but also humorous!

Parkinson’s Society of Southwest Ontario, Canada, Symposium Keynote Presentation

“whatever hand life deals you, whatever life changing adversity you have to endure, you still have some control over it.” “You don’t have to just to live well,” he advises,” but live an Amazing Life.” The formula he proposes: Faith in yourself, discipline, determination, desire, intensity, and inner strength.


Yes, you touched every person at our conference, who will in turn change and impact so many others. The feedback from our participants was overwhelmingly positive. You are the only speaker to ever receive a standing ovation. Thank you for taking time to share, motivate and inspire. We are blessed to know you.


I will be honest. During the first 10 minutes of your presentation, I started reading work related material on my laptop. For surely, I had watched your You-Tube and seen your videos and knew what to expect. Surely, as a therapist I had studied this disease, the pathological components, the psychological components, the treatment alternatives……..Surely, I understand it.

Not so much. You caught my attention and I was enthralled. You were able to couple the impairments you experience with the emotions felt. You walked us through your life with the disease through “your eyes”. A perspective that a therapist/nurse rarely has the chance to hear. We get so busy telling patients how to deal with x, y and z, but our eyes are blurred by the science of it all most of the time.

You did it through truth, Through your humor, humility and determination to tell your story. One that most deservedly needs to be shared.

I will advocate to have you share your story. I appreciate your determination, diligence and dedication.