As an educator and self-described life-long learner, Lorraine Wilson initially approached her 2017 Parkinson’s diagnosis like a research project. As she gained knowledge that helped her, she began sharing what she learned with others. She stepped into the facilitator role of the local support group, is an ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, and a contributor to ParkinsonsDisease.net.
Lorraine is a professor emeritus of kinesiology and remains active with several faculty members conducting exercise research with persons with Parkinson’s. Although exercise is significant, much of Lorraine’s personal outreach has become entwined with creative endeavors.
The Davis Phinney Foundation invited her to lead several online sketching sessions during the pandemic (2020-2021), and write blog posts about the value and fun of sketching. She recruited other ambassadors, friends, and friends of friends to participate in the Sketchbook Project (Brooklyn Art Gallery). Almost 60 sketchbooks based on the theme, Living Well with PD, were completed and can be viewed in the gallery (some are also online).
One of the quirkiest art endeavors enjoyed by Lorraine is one she shares with persons of all ages. She started painting rocks after her diagnosis in anticipation of combating hand tremors and maintaining fine motor skills. Rocks are cheaper than canvas! Simple kindness rocks gave way to painting more involved images, especially animals.
Like many other folks with PD, Lorraine agrees that we cannot control the fact we received this diagnosis, but we can control how we respond to it. Creativity, in many forms, is Lorraine’s favorite response. “Sharing my art work is one of the ways I scatter joy.”