Life gave Larry Parkinson’s. He gave Parkinson’s a voice.

Larry Gifford, host of the podcast When Life Gives You Parkinson's, speaking at the Parkinson SuperWalk
Larry Gifford, host of the podcast When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, speaking at the Parkinson SuperWalk

When life gives you Parkinson’s, what comes next? It’s a question Larry Gifford asked himself after his own diagnosis as he looked to make the best of the news delivered to him by his doctor in August 2017 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 45.

Larry, a 30-year broadcast veteran, soon realized that his talents and platform gave him the unique opportunity to tell the Parkinson’s story in a different light. Now in its third season, When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is a first-hand account of what it is like to live with PD for Gifford, his family, and other members of the worldwide Parkinson’s community. In times when the world is in dire need of hope and optimism, Larry delivers just that with every single episode.

When Life Gives You Parkinson’s is an honest, funny, and engaging podcast chronicling host Larry’s personal journey with Parkinson’s disease. Gifford, his wife Rebecca, and their son Henry live in Vancouver, British Columbia. Answering probing questions from co-host Niki Reitmayer and letting listeners eavesdrop in on intimate chats with his wife, Gifford uses humour to diffuse heavy content and give the podcast a hopeful tone.

Larry Gifford, with his wife Rebecca and son Henry
Larry Gifford, with his wife Rebecca and son Henry

In the premiere episode of season three Larry and his wife Rebecca, along with co-host Niki Reitmayer discussed what life is like with Parkinson’s three years after diagnosis and what impact has COVID-19 had on us and others with Parkinson’s. In the show communication came up as a relatively new and big issue in the Gifford home. Larry shares, “for 20 years, our instinctive interactions were a fun and easy part of our relationship. Now I take things literal when Rebecca is being figurative, she has to repeat herself over and over again, and I get trapped in my Parkinson’s bubble at certain times of the day.”

“It gets frustrating,” says Rebecca. “Because, I’ve repeated myself a couple of times on something and it’s still not retained. For me, it’s re learning patience and understanding and knowing that it’s not just that he’s too busy and he’s not paying attention or whatever. No, it’s the Parkinson’s.” Larry and Rebecca also share how they are working together and individually to improve the communication glitches the Parkinson’s is causing.

The WLGYP podcast gives voice to Parkinson’s experts and advocates from around the world and openly tackles tough topics. The authentic, frank conversations along with compelling storytelling is what makes this podcast interesting, informative, and enlightening.

Parkinson Canada has signed on as a presenting partner yet again for Season 3 as part of our goal to amplify the voices of Canadians living with Parkinson’s and to share authentic, insgihtful content on how to live well. The shows host shares these goals: “I am thrilled to be working with the Parkinson Canada team. By partnering with the podcast they are raising the voices of people with Parkinson’s. The more we tell our stories, the more it drives awareness of Parkinson’s, which is needed for funding research and ultimately finding a way to stop Parkinson’s in its tracks. No matter what,” says Larry Gifford.

Whether you are living with Parkinson’s, know somebody who is, or just want more information about what it means to live with a Parkinson’s diagnosis, this podcast is a brilliant place to start. Canada’s rate of Parkinson’s has recently been found to be the highest in the world, and through his work, Larry is ending the stigma surrounding Parkinson’s one podcast episode at a time.

Listen here.


Editor’s note, from host Larry Gifford: Thank you for listening. Add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here: https://www.speakpipe.com/WhenLifeGivesYouParkinsons

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