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Gary Welch has had Parkinson’s for 23 years however he doesn’t allow this to hold him back! Gary has been with his wife Elizabeth for 53 years and she’s always been by his side supporting him every step of the way.

After Gary received his diagnosis, he struggled with the changes that were happening like losing his driver’s license and long-term job. Despite these challenges, he has learned that he must live life to the fullest. As such, Gary and Elizabeth have been on 42 cruises together throughout their 53-year relationship. Gary also likes to participate in fundraising events for Parkinson’s and has great fun doing it. Gary encourages other Parkinson’s patients to do the best they can to be present in the moment and do the things they can such as travelling while they are still able to do so.

In terms of wisdom Gary has for other individuals with Parkinson’s, he encourages people to get involved in support groups and explains that it is a great way to learn about the disease and how it affects different people. Gary enjoys getting to hear about how everyone is affected differently by the disease, yet they all unite together as one community and fight the disease together. He shared that his involvement in the support groups is rewarding as he not only gets to learn, but it has also allowed him to meet many great friends and build friendships.

With his wisdom, determination, and deep care for others – he is a valued and special part of the Parkinson’s community.