Local woman represents young face of Parkinson’s disease
A faint tremor in 38-year-old Teri Andrade’s right arm four years ago eventually led to a diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson’s disease, medication and then deep brain stimulation surgery two years later — with another possible surgery in the near future. The public’s idea that only elderly people are diagnosed with the disease changed radically in 1998, when actor Michael J. Fox went public with the diagnosis he had received in 1991. He was only 29 when he was diagnosed. “Those diagnosed can be young, they can be old … the disease is an equal opportunity disease,” Andrade said. “Information becomes really important … you’re always searching for more and updated information about the disease when you have it.” With that in mind and with the nearest support group in Oklahoma City, Andrade has set up a support group in Lawton that meets on the first Tuesday of each month to help herself and others dealing with the disease. The next meeting — which will focus on “Speech, Voice and Swallow Issues,” and feature speakers from Southwestern Medical Center — will be 6-7 p.m. Sept. 4 at The Christian Center’s Friendship Hall, 2405 SE Lee Blvd.