Art of Aging: Parkinson's disease

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Parkinson's can be a devastating disease, but one man with the diagnosis is determined to focus on each moment.

Parkinson's can be a devastating disease, but one man with the diagnosis is determined to focus on each moment.

Photographer John Creveling used to be a business man. But in retirement he discovered a love of art.

"About 1989, my wife and I went to Brazil. I took a camera along and I started to realize I loved photography," said John.

In fact, one of his photographs was in PCA's Celebrate Arts & Aging exhibit.

He started showing his work about 15 years ago.

In 2009, his doctor diagnosed him with Parkinson's disease.

"I think some people would probably say, Oh my gosh, what do I do now? And for me it was a moment to say, what is important to me?" he said.

For John, the answer was photography. So, he and his wife started traveling the globe - from India to Peru, with John finding inspiration in the sun and clouds and the shadows they cast.



Along the way, he realized he had a talent for drawing as well.

John added, "I'm not sure if I discovered art or art discovered me. But I'm loving it every minute, every day, to try to experiment and grow that way."

He sees retirement as a gift, an opportunity to actively engage his mind in the creative process.

"I find my brain is growing. We know that we can expand our minds, we can meet other people, make new opportunities as well," he says.

As for the Parkinson's? John says, "It has provided me the opportunity to realize how important today is and how important the present moment is...I'm not my disease. I'm something other than my disease. I have a disease but it's not me, and I choose to live life to the best of my ability."

Related Topics:
healthart of agingseniorsparkinson's diseasehealthcheck
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