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.

College tennis player returns to court after a torn meniscus

Rachel Beck is a member of the Millsaps College tennis team. She had only been playing  collegiately for one year when she tore her meniscus.

“There was no sudden movement or impact that I was aware of,” Rachel recalled. “My injury was simply from wear and tear. My knee was hurting for about two months before I got it checked out.”

Kevin Dessauer, DPT who treated Rachel said, “This is actually a pretty common injury amongst college tennis players.  The amount of mileage a college tennis player accumulates over a season through practice, conditioning, and matches is tremendous.”

When asked how it felt being injured, Rachel said, “It was both physically and mentally challenging.  Some days were more painful than others, and it was then I had to push myself harder. Staying positive was difficult because I had to be patient with my body.”

“The collegiate athletes we treat are often times some of the hardest, yet most rewarding patients,” said Kevin. “They have an unwavering commitment to training and extraordinary talent in their sport. Making them slow down, listen to their body and be patient is usually the most difficult part. They’re used to training hard and giving 100%.”

Rachel’s physical therapy included total body conditioning to restore mobility, strength, balance, power, and endurance as well as a tennis-specific program to allow for a safe return to tennis.

“I was scared and nervous to return to tennis. I feared re-injury from going too hard, too fast,” said Rachel.  “I also didn’t trust myself with a lot of the tennis-related movements. There was a big difference between feeling confident and stronger in physical therapy versus actually getting back on the tennis court.”

“Rachel was able to build confidence through our return to sport testing.  It was a blast watching Rachel develop strength both physically and mentally through this process.  I’m confident that she now moving better than ever.”

Rachel concluded, “My experience at Baudry Therapy Center was amazing! My first half of PT was done in Jackson, MS while I was at Millsaps.  PT at Baudry was incomparable. Everyone was excited to work with me and positively encouraged me through my rough days.  The return to sport program built me back up physically and gave me the confidence to get back on the court.”

Rachel finished the 2016-2017 season with an impressive 8-4 singles record and plans to build on her success this year as she enters her final year at Millsaps.

Learn more about BRIO’s Return to Sport program

The #1 predictor of injury for athletes is a previous injury. So when an athlete is injured, BRIO’s Return to Sport team gets to work with evidence-based care that gives our clients the confidence they need to resume athletic activities. For more information on BRIO’s Return to Sport program, CLICK HERE.