Nancy Peate

Writer. Birdwatcher. Librarian.

Kat and I write for people who are diagnosed with chronic illness. Come join us as we explore how to have a life filled with joy and resilience.

Through serendipity and good fortune, I met my dear friend and co-author, Kat Hill. We both showed up at a support group that wasn’t meeting that day. Instead, we found an empty, darkened room. And we found each other! That morning, we shared our stories and exchanged numbers, and a fast friendship developed.

Soon after that initial meeting, Kat and I partnered with Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon (PRO) to start our own Parkinson’s support group. We didn’t want to repeat the original meeting in a dark room, so instead we invited people to meet us at a local pub. We also joined the Rebel Fit boxing club and learned to throw punches. Exercise and community became our medicine.

After we spoke about resilience at the World Parkinson’s Congress in Kyoto, we developed the Wellness Spiral. It lays out a road map to how we respond to life’s harshest challenges, and how we can rise above them.