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Shocked, Stunned No More

July 28, 2010

Muhammad Ali, Pope John Paul, John Baumann, Michael J. Fox …….Wait a minute, back up a name.  What do I have in common with this group of famous people? You may have guessed it. The answer is that all these people have been diagnosed with Parkinsons. For those of you who don’t know, symptoms include shaking, inability to blink and poker face. You should know that one of the hidden benefits of Parkinsons is that noone in my Texas Hold’em group could ever tell when I got that fourth deuce on the turn.

My diagnosis prompted me to do something that I felt would be more worthwhile with my life than being the top attorney for a publicly traded company. Despite much concern, especially in this economy, I started teaching undergraduate classes at the University of Louisville and opened my own speaker  & consulting business. Just as there is much that can we done to proactively prevent, or at least slow, the progression of Parkinsons, I dedicated my energy and passion to eliminate workplace harassment, provide supervisor leadership skills training, reduce workplace injuries, teach success skills, and speak on Parkinsons. I also decided to build a house in the woods and be a part of the experience so bought a chainsaw, got some lessons, and cut down over 50 trees myself on weekends. The cutting down was scary, but not as physically draining as cutting up the trees after cutting them down. Missing being an athlete, it was a very rewarding nine months. This is where I am- enjoying life, enjoying work.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I have Parkinsons and I guess proud of it.

Testimonials

“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.

MARY SPREMULLI VOICE AEROBICS

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.

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING REHABILITATION HOSPITAL

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.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER REHABILITATION HOSPITAL