The PD Movers- We Keep Moving


This storybook is a compilation of narratives of African American and Black individuals and caregivers who are living and thriving with Parkinson’s disease. The goal of the storybook is to inspire and connect individuals in the community by sharing the experiences of these remarkable individuals. We also hope these stories will educate others by removing the mysteries and misconceptions of Parkinson’s disease and provide useful resources regarding diagnosis and treatment to allow others to thrive with Parkinson’s disease.

Who are the PD MOVERS?

In the Spring of 2021, the PD Movers group was born – Doctors and researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and Teachers College, Columbia University invited a group of Black and African American individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers to come together to develop an educational guide for Parkinson’s disease (PD) designed specifically for the Black and African American community.

Meet the PD Movers Group
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers:

BERNARD COLEY is a care partner for his wife with Parkinson’s disease. Along with his wife, he advocates for participation in Parkinson’s related research, engages in outreach work in Black communities, and supports Parkinson’s related organizations. He desires to serve the PD community and inspire other care partners to find the silver linings while taking care of Parkinson’s patients.

While battling the disease herself, DENISE COLEY actively serves on the boards and committees of various Parkinson’s disease organizations, participates in support groups and studies, and mentors PD patients. She hopes to educate under-engaged communities and empower PD patients to live a better quality of life.

SANDRA COPLIN felt scared when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but relieved that the diagnosis allowed her to move forward. Fearing the unknown, she is beyond grateful to have her faith, family, friends, and physicians by her side to support her as she walks on her path.

Due to a scary experience with medications, VICTORIA DILLARD tried to manage Parkinson’s disease on her own. After several years, she bravely mustered up the courage to ask for help. Today, she counts her blessings, including her family, friends, doctors, and the PD community, all who have supported her through the rough days.

LORRAINE HAYE is a caregiver for her mom with Parkinson’s disease. As she navigates her role, she learns the importance of being patient with her mom, forgiving herself when days don’t go as planned, and relying on her faith to help sustain her and practice gratitude.

ANGELA HUCKABEE is the wife of Richard Huckabee, who has Parkinson’s disease. She admires her husband’s determination to fight this disease and is hopeful for the future.

For RICHARD HUCKABEE, it was a long journey to his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. After nine years of experiencing symptoms, several misdiagnoses, and even losing his job, he finally received a proper diagnosis. He feels strongly that there is no excuse for his prolonged diagnosis just because he, a young Black male, does not fit the typical PD profile of an “old white male.”


DON RANSOM is a man of many talents. He was a musician in high school, served in the United States Air Force, was an employee of the United States Postal Service and is a dedicated athlete. He longs for the way his life used to be, but is grateful that he is able to share his journey and story with others, hoping to impact others and make it better for them.

KERMIT SMITH, a enthusiastic football coach and avid traveler, had his life upturned when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Through his faith and the help of a neurologist and psychologist, he finds the strength to continue doing what he loves.

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