Blake L. Bookstaff

When serial entrepreneur and lifelong optimist Blake was first diagnosed with YOPD at age 47, he was beyond devastated. Sucker-punched by the news, he first tries to block it out. But what follows is a tailspin into heartbreak, depression and despair.

Yet as he slowly becomes proactive again, searching the internet for answers and learning everything he possibly can about the disease, Blake’s initial denial gives way to grief, then acceptance.

He begins to find the right words to tell friends and family—and soon gains an even wider support circle via the World Parkinson’s Congress, a fortuitously-timed meet-up which gives him “hope from all angles” and catapults him into a new chapter of positive action.

Slowly rediscovering his old can-do attitude, he throws himself into researching drugs, “doctor shopping,” boxing classes for Parkinson’s patients and occasionally standing on one leg (don’t ask).