Faces of Parkinson's

The Parkinson Association features individuals in the Central Florida area who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Each story is unique and shares a different aspect of having Parkinson's disease. Continue reading to learn a little more about each personal story. 

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"DONt worry, be happy"

Meet Marianne McClain Popkins! She and her husband, Ned, are high school sweethearts from Connecticut who have been happily married for 39 years.


Video Games Exercise Motor and Memory for Parkinson's Community Member

Meet Scott Thompson. He is a loving husband, video gamer and huge Star Trek fan. Scott and his wife Ravyn have a dachshund corgi mix named Harley who they love dearly.

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Webmasters Conquering Parkinson’s Disease Together

Meet Chuck and Marsha Melvin. They are the webmasters who have created a website featuring information on how to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Both of them live, research, and constantly update the information on the website, and together work as a team helping to support each other.


Meet Don Bartlett. He enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, boxing and growing vegetables at the community garden. Don has been married to his wife Rhonda for 17 years and has three children; Nicole, Kristen, and their son Lars. Nicole and Kristen both live in Florida and each have two girls of their own, giving them four beautiful granddaughters. 

"The Tremor Has Been Eliminated"

Meet John Alexander. He is a distance cyclist, triathlon competitor, and a loving husband, father, and grandfather. John has been married to his wife, Laura, for 42 years. They have two grown children, Brian and Jennifer. He is also the proud “Grampy” of Lilly, Lex and Danny.


Meet Ed Vihlen. He is a true Floridian, successful business man and a respected Navy Veteran. Ed served our country in WWII and in the Korean War. After Ed had served for our country he started his own construction business with his brother and decided to name the business The Vihlen Brothers. 


Meet John Fisher. He is an avid golfer, tennis player, and fisherman. John is the husband of Gail, father of five, and grandfather to eleven beautiful grandchildren. He met his wife while they were attending the University of Illinois, got married two years later and started growing their family.

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Meet Tonya Walker. She is a vibrant blogger, Team Fox fundraiser and mother to her son, Chase and wife of Chad. She enjoys spending family time riding bikes, boxing, and watching movies. Tonya was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease when she was 34 years old.

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Meet Rita Husmann-Chesnut. Rita was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1985 and attends the support group meetings at Florida Hospital Church. She is a native from Sverdlovsk, Siberia who immigrated to America in 1952.