Bucket List Item Checked Off for this Parkinson’s Patient

Sandra Wright checks ‘skating’ off her Bucket List

Checking off a bucket list item feels amazing, but for a Parkinson’s patient, even the smallest movement can be a truly remarkable victory. For Sandra Wright, skating a lap at the roller rink was a dream she thought would never come to fruition.

Recollections of her childhood days skating with her friends brought back such fond memories. She had mentioned a few times to her husband, Calvin, that she’d love to skate just one more time.

With unwavering love and support from family (a key ingredient to a Parksinson patients’ success), Calvin secretly arranged to have a private roller skating session at Airline Skate Center.


When Calvin broke the news, Sandra was elated and said, “Bring it on! I want to be me again.”

The Airline Skate Center team went above and beyond making Sandra’s dream come true. Owners Robert (Bob) Jean and Elizabeth Runnels, as well as Assistant Manager Holly Frix, ensured every detail was perfect for Sandra from the lighting to playing her favorite Fats Domino song while she skated.

Calvin, Sandra’s grandson Justin, and Baudry’s PTA Christina Combel accompanied Sandra to the skate rink for moral support and to ensure she didn’t hurt herself.

“My family, therapists and the Airline Skate Center team was amazing. Everyone went out of their way to make this day happen and I will never forget it,” said Sandra. “Each person seemed to take pride in their part and I met some of the nicest people ever.”

When asked how she felt on skates again, Sandra responded, “It was an amazing feeling and one I will always remember. It took me back in time and I didn’t think of Parkinson’s Disease because I needed to concentrate and work hard.  I intend to do it again, too. Even though I got tired, I want to finish what I started.”

Living with Parkinson’s Disease

As a patient in Baudry’s LSVT/ BIG program for Parkinson’s Disease, Sandra had the right mindset to add skating to her bucket list. But a positive attitude wasn’t always Sandra’s way.

“Before I started LSVT/BIG, I had just about given up on therapy. The BIG program helped me tremendously. It taught me to have a positive mindset and utilize the movements to keep going. Without the right attitude, I could’ve easily coasted downhill.”

One might say, Sandra suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, but we don’t like to think of it that way.  We like to think she is living life to the fullest with Parkinson’s.  Her advice to others who are living with Parkinson’s or other physical limitations is “if you like something, do it because age is only a number so don’t let it stop you.  Don’t let PD take over your life.  Skate away, dance pretty and enjoy the music.”

Sandra said, “I felt like I accomplished something special and it was also funny to do this at my age with such desire and determination.  It seemed to make everyone feel good about their part.”

“I’m so thankful for the friendship, trust and encouragement I receive from Baudry. Rich is truly a champion. He helps me tremendously both physically and mentally. I believe in him.”

Rich Baudry said, “Parkinson’s Disease or any other movement disorders can certainly have a big impact on your life, but as Sandra says, ‘I have Parkinson’s but it doesn’t have me.’ Sandra’s tremendous attitude helps her live well, no matter what is thrown her way.”

Sandra is a huge testimony for the power of mindset, courage, and perseverance. She has Parkinson’s but it doesn’t have her. She emulates the true meaning of BRIO.

“Calvin and Sandra’s story is a great example of what a family and friendship is all about,” said Rich. “The support that they provide each other is impressive and inspiring. We can all learn a lot from them.”


Tips for Living with Parkinson’s Disease

  • Believe in yourself and the people willing to help you.
  • Remember a good past but create new memories.
  • Show family and friends that you are in the game.
  • Keep trying, even if you don’t succeed on your first try.
  • Challenge yourself both mentally and physically with something new and different
  • Increase your dopamine levels with exercise


Learn More About LSVT / BIG program for Parkinson’s Disease

Be an advocate for your own health and your loved ones!  If you or someone you know is living with Parkinson’s and would like to get more out of life – find their BRIO again – contact us today to learn more about the LSVT/ BIG program (link to page) at Baudry Therapy Center.

What’s Dopamine Got to Do with Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while a tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. *

In many ways, Parkinson’s patients are no different than anyone else. They may tend to be more stiff, less flexible and have more balance issues. Less movement leads to loss of health and function.

So what’s the solution? Exercise is THE best medicine. Like a tune up for your car, exercise helps our joints, muscles and bones perform better.  Exercise leads to an increase in the body’s dopamine, a neurotransmitter super power that helps us move and feel better. Dopamine increases positive emotions like pleasure, excitement and enthusiasm. It also improves attention, mood, memory, learning, and sleep quality.

Dopamine helps get your competitive juices flowing and gives you the extra oomph – what we like to call your BRIO.  Any type of exercise, either physically or mentally challenging, helps stimulate dopamine production.

10 New Ways to Stimulate Dopamine

  • Take a cooking class or teach a grandchild to cook.
  • Enroll in a dance or boxing class, specific for Parkinson’s.
  • Play music so loud it wakes us the neighbors.
  • Go for walks in the fresh air.
  • Do yoga, breathing exercises or meditation.
  • Soak up some warm sun.
  • Take up photography or painting.
  • Get a massage.
  • Sing along with your favorite music LOUDLY!
  • Start a stamp collection.

It doesn’t matter what you do to stimulate dopamine, just do something.  Life is short so make it a journey worth living.

Model example of “Living with Parkinsons”

Baudry Therapy Center client Sandra Wright lives with Parkinson’s. We chose the word “lives with” instead of “suffers from” because Sandra is making the most of her condition.  She is living life! Sandra learned firsthand what dopamine has to do with Parkinson’s when she went skating for the first time in decades.  Read how Sandra checked off an item on her bucket list while doing something positive for her health >>>

Learn More About LSVT / BIG program for Parkinson’s Disease

Be an advocate for your own health and your loved ones!  If you or someone you know is living with Parkinson’s and would like to get more out of life – find their BRIO again – contact us today to learn more about the LSVT/ BIG program  at Baudry Therapy Center.

*(Source: Mayo Clinic)

Physical Therapy brings pain-relief and a healthier outlook on life

Shea Soll first injured his left knee in 1988 when he was a young athlete playing basketball, golf, tennis and numerous other sports. He had his first ACL repair shortly after and resumed all activity after his first surgery, but not without regular discomfort. A few years later, Shea tore his ACL again and had it repaired once more.

“Since 1992, I have restricted my sporting activities to just golf as years of wear and tear, cartilage damage and ligament stress made more athletic sports neither a wise option, nor a comfortable one,” said Shea, “My most recent injury was a furthering degradation of the cartilage and a shredded ACL, making it very difficult to continue playing golf. I suffered frequent knee pain even during sedentary activity.”

Shea’s recent increase in knee pain led him to having another knee surgery. Following surgery, Shea came to Baudry Therapy Center with an unwavering commitment to his physical therapy program.

“Shea wanted to give himself the best opportunity to resume golf, a sport he loves to play,” said Kevin Dessauer, DPT at Baudry Therapy Center. “He continued to ask questions and learn throughout the rehab process, which will allow him to continue working on his performance and health beyond physical therapy.”

“I knew my knee would have periodic discomfort because of the anatomical deficiencies that existed,” said Shea. “But I wanted to understand the muscle groups (legs and core) that needed strengthening, so I could provide as much support and stability as possible for my knee joint.”

Kevin said, “While the focus was to rehabilitate Shea’s knee post-surgery, we also wanted to give him the proper education and tools to enhance his overall fitness. Specifically, we wanted to improve his body mechanics by strengthening his core and hip muscles to support his body during athletic activities.”

Getting Back to an Active, Pain-free Life

“I can say with a high degree of confidence that through completing my rehabilitation program at Baudry Therapy Center, my leg and core strength are stronger than they have ever been at any stage in my life. I’ve resumed golfing with little to no discomfort. Most importantly, the experts at Baudry have educated me on the best exercises and how to perform them properly to optimize the benefit. I can now continue with a home regimen to maintain the strength I built at Baudry.”

“I’ve been to several physical therapy centers over the years and Baudry’s approach is best. Their staff attends continuing education conferences and incorporates the latest techniques into their therapy programs. They customize therapy to each patient, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. They truly assist their patients with improving their overall health and fitness.”

If you are someone you love has had ACL repair surgery and wants to return to the activities they enjoy, call Baudry | BRIO today and schedule your evaluation today!