In 2009 at the age of 39, I had the privilege to become Peru’s first Winter Olympian. Three years before, I was taking my first ski lesson from my wife Kate, in a race against time and Olympic qualification odds. The objective was to bring Peru – for the first time ever- to the Winter Olympics.
I had the honor to compete again at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. This short youtube video depicts my 2014 Olympic journey in a nice fashion
Three and a half years ago while reading a book I noticed my right foot twitching. I didn’t pay much attention to it and I blame stress. Several months went by and then it was my whole right leg shaking. I decided then to pay a visit to my doctor.
My doctor attributed the shakiness to stress and anxiety and since I was no longer training, stress was not getting buffered out through
Things started to get worse as tremors extended to my right arm and right hand. I felt super embarrassed especially, when at public speaking or at work meetings.
Not good news
A week ago, on March 29, I have received devastating news for family and friends, I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. An unimaginable condition for an athlete who competed in the Olympics twice.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that is caused by degeneration of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra, which controls movement. These nerve cells die or become impaired, losing the ability to produce an important chemical called dopamine.
My Parkinson’s Disease tremors started a year after my 2014 Olympics but I trace symptoms and countless diagnose-free visits to doctors back to 2009.
My main Parkinson’s disease symptoms are unilateral tremors (right-side leg and hand) and bradykinesia (slowness of movements). The prognosis is unclear since this progressive neurological disorder affects people differently however, Parkinson’s disease is not fatal.
Medication has been prescribed to help with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease; besides, I’m implementing lifestyle changes such as exercising, diet, meditation, etc.
The goal is to find the right formula to slow down the progression of this devastating illness that, affects more than 10 million people worldwide.
There is always a bright side
I have always believed good hides behind any given negative event and this one is not an exception.
Right now, my main focus is to work along with my doctors on slowing down the progression of my condition but also support the current research and awareness efforts through The Roberto Carcelen Foundation. I believe this is the right thing to do.
I have also started this blog to document my journey through this new chapter in life and share with you all, how I’m dealing with Parkinson’s disease in a holistic and natural way through lifestyle, research, food, exercise, community, work, and family support.
My plan is to tackle Parkinson’s from the beginning, share, help and empower other Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
I invite you to join my army and conquer Parkinson’s disease once and for all. We win by losing!