Parkinson's Disease: Patient Stories - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Parkinson's Disease: Patient Stories

Regena Guinhawa’s Story

Moving Better, Thinking Clearer, Talking Louder

Regena Guinhawa was used to leading an active life. A native Californian, she loved the beach and headed for the mountains whenever she could. “I loved taking the kids up there, and later, my grandkids,” she recalled. “She’s always lived her life to the fullest,” agreed her son, Russ Byrd.

Regena was 55 years old when she noticed her hands had begun to twitch. “I started shaking a lot, and that got me scared,” she said. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and began taking medication. Initially it helped, but over time, the benefits wore off. “I was delivering Meals on Wheels and I had to stop. I couldn’t drive anymore. It made me angry, like I was losing my life.