On June 18, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced in a press conference that he is battling Parkinson's disease and receiving treatment.
The Diagnosis Of Parkinson's Disease
Over three years ago, Rendell's family and friends urged him to seek medical help after they noticed some peculiar behaviors from his body.
"My hand started shaking a bit and I was having more trouble with my balance than usual," Rendell shared. "And at the urging of Midge and Jesse and David Cohen, he even chipped in, they all said you got to see a doctor."
After taking some tests with doctors at the University of Pennsylvania, Rendell was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson's disease. Although the results surprised and concerned him, he agreed to begin treatment. He received medication and participated in physical therapy.
When he announced his diagnosis, he felt very optimistic about his outlook. He said that his Parkinson's disease has stabilized and he feels better now than when he first received the diagnosis a few years ago.
Why Is Rendell Revealing This?
The 74-year-old opened up about his medical situation as a way to encourage other people with the same symptoms to seek immediate help from a professional. His doctors have reportedly urged him to go public for some time.
Rendell situated his message as a way to defeat the stigma and fear associated with Parkinson's disease.
"The key in this is to get in early," he said. "I don't think if I would have waited that I would have had as good results as I've had today. Look it's not a death sentence... it doesn't have to affect the quality of your life."
Dr. Matthew Stern, of the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed that the former governor has received the same exact treatment for Parkinson's disease as other patients.
"One of the key messages the governor brings today is that .... with the right combination of medication and therapy, you can live a full and active life, " Stern said. "The governor is an inspiring example of what Parkinson's Disease looks like today."
Rendell's History With Parkinson's Disease
Rendell's mother lived with Parkinson's disease during the final 13 years of her life. Inspired by his mother's battle with the disease, the former governor advocated on behalf of patients. In 2012, he received an award for shining a light on the disease.
He served as Governor of Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2011. Rendell also served as Mayor of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2000.