She then said: "I don't know how you do it. Your disease slowly gets worse and you have no idea what you will be dealing with tomorrow, next year or five years from now."
This story highlights why a recent study indicates that 70 percent of PWPs will go through depression at some point of their illness.
While Parkinson's disease challenges me every day, this isn't a story of a life lost, but of another life gained.
I have come to know some of the most amazing people - fighters - who won't let this disease defeat them.
They are supported by family members and caregivers who will do anything to help them beat back Parkinson's for another day. And then start the fight over again tomorrow.
When I was diagnosed three years ago, the Charleston area lacked a support group. From what I can ascertain, there are only three Parkinson's support groups in the entire state - in Vienna, Huntington and Martinsburg.
Those without a place to turn to for support find themselves suffering at home, alone.
Yes, many of them have doctors and family members there to help. But until you get a disease like Parkinson's, you don't understand the desperate need to connect with someone else going through the same battle.
Your first three years will determine whether the outlook of your journey with Parkinson's will be a positive or a challenging one. A support group can make a big difference.
With the help of a group of amazing people, we started a new Charleston support group in May. The group meets at 6 p.m. every third Monday at the Alzheimer's Association office off Kanawha Boulevard at Patrick Street Plaza.
Our next meeting is Monday.
This is just the beginning. Working closely with the Alzheimer's Association, we are looking to set up support groups in other parts of the state.
And, over the next year my goal is to create a West Virginia-based website where people with Parkinson's, caregivers and others in the fight against the disease can go to find information about local support groups and Parkinson's activities in the state.
The fight against Parkinson's and other neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis requires the hands of many.
There are many ways you can help either through donating your time, money and expertise.
Contact your favorite organization, or I welcome your emails at Mana...@aol.com.
Manahan is chief executive officer of The Manahan Group, a Charleston-based public relations and advertising firm.