Secrets of Our Success

January 17, 2018

So, what have I learned having Parkinson’s disease for over 15 years that can help others live the highest quality of life possible with – or without – PD?

John Baumann
Chair, Patient Mentorship, World Parkinson Program


My newest presentation is entitled, “Secrets of Our Success” and was the inspiration for my book, Decide Success – You Ain’t Dead Yet. I was practicing law when, at 41, I was diagnosed with PD. I am confident that you will find my presentation to be educational as well as inspirational.

Preview: Secrets of Our Success

Nobody, but nobody, that has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 15 years ago is doing as well as I am.Nobody.

Many people have come up to me after my presentations, emailed me or simply called me on the phone and asked me what my secret is. I am not superman. I am not any kind of superhero. I am, however, in the best shape of my life after changing my lifestyle. As a result of this lifestyle change, I have reduced my weight from 215 to 175 pounds and cut my bad cholesterol in half. My wife, Bernadette, and I just do what needs to be done. It takes intensity, tenacity, resilience, persistence, patience, commitment, diligence, and positivity.

Bernadette and I are a team and, as, I believe, the adage goes, there is no “me” in “team.” Wait a second, there are the letters “M” and “E” in “Team.” As there should be. She is not my caregiver, she is my care partner. I have primarily responsible for my own well-being. That said, I rely on my team to support my efforts. That is why the title is “Our Success” not “My Success.”

My team also consists of, among others, Adam and Matt, my boxing fitness trainers; the entire Parkinson’s class (now pushing 30) at Jaco’s Boxing; my doctor, Patrick Madden; and my physical therapist and her assistant, Mary and Judit.

So, my first of eight “Secrets of Our Success” is to get your team together. I am available to provide more information and the other secrets to any organization or group of people, not just People with Parkinson’s or any other chronic illness, but executives, supervisors, and other employee groups.

Everyone has adversity, challenges, and tragedy in their lives whether in the workplace or in their personal lives. These “Secrets” provide a wonderful template for successfully dealing with these things when they occur.


“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.