The Shaky Times
-- Online Edition --
March 2019
Here's what's below:
March General Meeting Speakers

March Tri-Valley Meeting Speaker

How You Exercise Makes the Difference

Is Parkinson's A Bully?

PD Bootcamp

Alexander Technique Class

Tremble Clefs


Information and Resources Library

Meetings, Announcements, and How to Contact Us
March General Meeting Speakers

Saturday, March 16, 2019 - General Meeting

Presentation:   Dance Moves Me  Demonstration
Presenter: Debbie Sternbach

Debbie Sternbach is a professional dancer and master of classical tap. With extensive training in jazz, ballet theatrical and vintage dance, she brings over 30 years of teaching, performing, and show production experience to her work. Debbie trained with master teacher John Argue and his highly acclaimed  Parkinson’s Disease & the Art of Moving  program in Berkeley, California. She was also trained in the internationally recognized  Dance for PD ® program by its renowned director, David Leventhal. In addition, Debbie studied with Dr. Becky Farley and her  PWR Moves!  program .

Presentation:   Rock Steady Boxing  Demonstration
Presenter: Lori Santo

Lori Santo is trained as a Rock Steady Boxing Coach. Today she commits her time to RSB East Bay training and coaching students from the Parkinson’s community. Rock Steady Boxing empowers people with Parkinson’s to fight back .
March Tri-Valley Meeting Speaker

Saturday, March 9, 2019 - Pleasanton Senior Center

Presentation:  Mindfulness
Speaker: Carol Fisher

10 am, 5353 Sunol Boulevard, Pleasanton.
How You Exeercise Makes the Difference
by Carol Fisher

We’ve all heard that maintaining your quality of life with PD is 50% proper medication management and 50% exercise. And we’ve heard that exercise can be yoga, dance, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, walking, PWR-type aerobic movements, cycling, boxing or any other form of movement that you enjoy. All of that is true, but the most important information about exercising is about HOW YOU EXERCISE!!!

What does that mean? When you have PD, some of the muscles in your body, most often on one side, are not receiving reliable signals and support from the Substantia Nigra (the part of the brain affected by PD). Unless you make a continuous, conscious effort to move those affected parts of your body as much as the parts that are not affected, the brain and the muscles will not be as inclined to make the connections needed to keep those body parts moving well. Other parts of your brain can sometimes begin to assume the tasks that the Substantia Nigra is no longer reliably performing, but not without that conscious effort.

You might feel like you are moving both arms and legs the same, but chances are pretty good that you are not. Watching yourself in a mirror or participating in a Parkinson’s-specific exercise class or having a trainer or coach who understands Parkinson’s will help to support and reinforce the kinds of ways that you need to understand and push yourself to make much more effort on your affected side.

For example, going through the motions of riding an exercise bike is certainly better than not doing it at all. But paying attention to whether you are using just as much energy and muscle power with one leg as with the other is what is needed. Maybe even choosing to put more effort into the affected side. Doing yoga and lifting your arms without the feedback about whether you are lifting both of them equally is, in some measure, reinforcing the fact that one arm is not working as well as the other. Thinking of the strong arm as being the teacher for the more challenged arm and making them match is the goal.

When you are walking…. noticing whether you are planting your heels and rolling over each foot and pushing off with your toes or whether one or both feet are, in some measure, just shuffling along.

Perhaps seeing any form of movement as a meditation, an exercise in mindfulness practice and appreciating the gift of movement in the full expression of its beauty.

I know this sounds like a lot of effort and a rather daunting task, BUT IT WORKS!!!!

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW! WHAT A RIDE!  Hunter S. Thompson

Is Parkinson's Disease a Bully?
Parkinson's News Today

We have all heard of them, and many of us, in one way or another, have encountered them. Some of us (hopefully, with regret) have been one. Who am I talking about? 

They intimidate us and physically hurt us. They embarrass us, taunting us with their words. We fear that they’ll defeat us.

What do bullies have to do with Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s is a bully with a capital “B.” It teases and taunts us, telling us that we are no longer useful. It tries to convince us that we no longer serve any purpose. This disease can tempt us to give up, to surrender to its cruel clutches.
Embarrassment is one-way Parkinson’s tries to steal our dignity and pride. And it often wins. We forget as we struggle through each day that others don’t understand us: our movements, speech, and forgetfulness. We can take those misunderstandings personally.

Drooling, shaking , a quiet voice, and a masked face are symptoms that may have become “natural” to those of us with the disease. But no matter how “natural” these have become, we’re still embarrassed by them because of others’ reactions when we’re out in public.

Parkinson’s whispers its ugly lies, saying you are no longer of value.

If anything, you have more value. You have developed an empathy that many others don’t possess. You can relate better to those who are battling other diseases, those who are in pain, feel alone, and need hope. People who are fearful receive your undivided attention. Of course, having this disease may not be your preferred method of acquiring such character traits.

In a recent documentary video  on Facebook, television host and producer  Mike Rowe said, “To feel bullied is to feel helpless.” While Parkinson’s disease is a bully with a capital “B,” we don’t need to feel helpless. Instead, we should feel hopeful. Why? We are becoming better and strong enough, so we don’t allow Parkinson’s taunting to get the best of us. And for me, that’s a huge plus.

PD Bootcamp
Movement for people affected by Parkinson’s disease
with Petra Fibrichova

Grace Presbyterian Church
Oak Room
2100 Tice Vally Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA
Mondays, 9:30-10:45 am
Cost: $15 per session
Registration: Contact Petra at 510-520-4523 or
What to expect in this class:
  • Warm up with yoga practices – breathing, centering, dynamic stretches.
  • PWR! Moves – aerobic exercise designed specifically to push back against PD symptoms such as rigidity, postural issues, gait changes, voice changes, stiffness, slowness, fear and lack of confidence while moving.
  • BIG movement to the sound of music.
  • Movement strategies for daily living – turning, rolling over, gait, etc.
  • Strength training with resistance bands.
  • Walking on unstable surfaces, multidirectional stepping.
  • Practicing balance and safe movement while cognitively distracted through counting backwards, reciting poems, tongue twisters, etc.
  • Fun and support of your fellow bootcampers!
Student Testimonials:
“When I first started, I had to think about how to turn myself over, move arm, move leg, etc. I noticed a few weeks ago, I just turned over, no thinking! “( B.D.)
“Petra’s class is absolutely important to my wellbeing. I try to remember the movements to do at home, but it simply isn’t the same as being in the class, hearing Petra’s suggestions and encouragement, and knowing I am in good company as I try to stay mobile. The variety of movements addressing various muscle groups, good humor of teacher and group, and the reminder of how and what we are doing makes the class valuable every week.” (J.H.)

Petra is a certified yoga therapist and PWR! Moves instructor specializing in Parkinson’s disease. Learn about her offerings at

New PD Exercise Activity Class
Alexander Technique Group Class

Four-Week Class Starting March 6, 2019: Introduction to the Alexander Technique for Parkinson's Disease

Wednesday, 10 AM - 11 AM, Instructor: Lena Hart, 917-806-7929
Come learn the Alexander Technique and gain life-long skills to help you manage your symptoms of PD. The Alexander Technique is scientifically proven to help those with PD regain their balance, do every day activities with more ease, and manage symptoms of depression. We will be working on everyday skills of walking, sitting, and standing. We will learn how to control tremors and tension in the body. If you have something special you would like to learn how to control, we will also address this in class. If you are interested, and would like to learn more, please call Lena at: 917-806-7929 or email her at:

John and Patricia Annee
Lester and Priscilla Rodgers
Charles and Bonnie Priddy
John and Rebecca Kunzman
Tom and Carolie Hensley (vehicle)
Ronald and Betsy Henderson
Marda Strothers in memory of Ward Strothers
Toba Simon in memory of Steve Simon
Myra J. Balmy in memory of Leigh Leuzze
Geri Auten in honor of Michael J. Fox
Dan and Jeanne Brown

It's Time to Pay 2019 Annual Dues
Dues are still $50 per household. You can either mail a check, pay in person at the next Saturday support group meeting, or pay online at the 'Join or Renew' tab of our website . Thank you for supporting PNMD!

P.O. Box 3127
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Tremble Clefs
Has your voice gone soft?
Do you wish people could hear you better?
You CAN do something about it –
                        S I N G!
The Tremble Clefs sing every week!
You can too!
No experience necessary
We meet every Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30
At the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church

Information and Resources Library
To Members and Friends:

What does the word "caregiver" mean to you? In her book about caregiving for PD, Lianna Marie quotes Merriam-Webster dictionary, saying a caregiver "is a person who gives help and protection to someone (such as a child, an old person, or someone who is sick)". A recent webinar presented by Home Instead Senior Care quotes the speaker, Lakelyn Hogan, who says "the definition of caregiver depends on context. " All agree there is a spectrum of caregiving and therefore several types or phases of caregiving. Most agree that along that spectrum the definition of caregiving includes "extraordinary care that exceeds the bound of traditional friend or family role." Notes from this valuable webinar will be copied and available on the Library Table at the March meeting of PNMD.

Rock Steady Boxing will also be giving a presentation at this meeting. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is as essential to treating Parkinson's as any medication. Some say it is even more important. Brochures about Rock City Boxing will be available in the Library as will more handouts about exercise. At the same meeting a group from Dance Moves Me with Debbie Sternbach will perform. Dancing provides an opportunity to shift your weight, move to a rhythm, and to turn and step. It challenges your balance. All of these are important skills which enhance your well-being whether you have Parkinson's or not.

Be sure to borrow one of our books on Parkinson's. There are free handouts of interesting articles as well as brochures, information about county resources and transportation, and home care. Suggestions are welcome. Please speak to me or Linda Madden, our Library Advisor.

Janice Ransley, M.D.
Library Chair

PD Exercise Activity Classes


Boot Camp
Monday, 9:30-10:45 AM, Petra Fibrichova, 510-520-4523
Thursday, 9:30-10:45 AM, Jodi Barry, 415-328-4123
Dance Moves Me
Tuesday, 1:00-2:30 PM, Debbie Sternback, 510-653-8362
Rock Steady Boxing
8 classes/week-call for times, Jimmy Greninger, 925-785-1272
Tremble Clefs
Thursday, 1:30-3:30 PM, Michael Grupp, 925-451-3389
Boot Camp
Mon., Wed.,Fri., 10:00-11:15 AM, Anu Ramaswamy, 925-922-0589

Please contact activity instructor for further details and fees.
Announcements, Meetings and How to Reach Us
The Tremble Clefs
Music Leader and Piano Accompanist Needed

"Tremble Clefs" is looking for a music leader and piano accompanist. We meet on Thursdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in Lafayette at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church. 

We are a singing program which includes weekly rehearsals and occasional performances. The songs consist mainly of show tunes, standards and folk songs, etc.

If you or someone you know is interested in either position, please let me know.
Michael or Melissa - 925-451-6124 cell/text

Questions? Contact Amy Van Voorhis at

Is There Treasure In Your Driveway?

You can stop paying insurance and registration—and get a tax deduction.
Donate your car, truck or boat to PNMD . Just call: 877-999-8322

Important: Be sure to tell the operator that you wish to donate your car to Parkinson Network of Mount Diablo. Or just use this link for our dedicated online donation form:
If you have any questions, call the vehicle donation program at 877-999 8322.
Or contact Abraham Raja at
     General Meeting Information:

Board Meeting:
First Monday of each month, 10:15 a.m.. Hillside Covenant Church, 2060 Magnolia Way, Walnut Creek. Open to all members.

General Support Group Meeting:
The Parkinson Network of Mt. Diablo Support Group meets on the third Saturday of every month, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. All are welcome and there is no charge. No RSVP’s needed.

Here is the agenda:

9:00 to 10:15 a.m. – Three concurrent Support Group meetings:

Men with Parkinson’s Disease Only: For men newly diagnosed or who’ve had PD for years: time to share, laugh, and learn from each other. Meeting location is the Fireside Room at Grace Church. Contact person is Derek Ransley, (925) 944-0162.

Women with Parkinson’s Disease Only: For women newly diagnosed or who’ve had PD for years: time to share, laugh, and learn from each other. Meeting location is the Library at Grace Church. Contact person is Rosemary Way, (925) 939-7665.

Caregivers Only: Caregivers discuss issues relating to their roles. Meeting location is the Sanctuary at Grace Church. Contact person is Jan Alioto, (925) 890-8937.

10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.-Assemble in Oak Room . The PNMD Library, with books, flyers, videos, etc. is open at this time. Bill Clinch, Moderator, will introduce new members and make announcements.

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Oak Room) Guest speaker (See information above)

11:45 a.m. to noon Q&A, Wrap up.

General questions may be directed to Abraham Raja at (925) 939-4210 ; Lance Gershen, Program Chair (925) 932-1028.

Tri-Valley (Pleasanton) Support Group Meeting:
Meets second Saturday of the month, year-round, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Pleasanton Senior Center, 5353 Sunol Blvd., Pleasanton. This is a support group and learning session that is open to all who want to learn about PD. Facilitators are Norman & Jackie Bardsley, (925) 831-9940.

Contact Us

Web site: 
General Information Phone No.: (925) 939-4210
Co-Presidents: Abraham Raja (925) 381-0688 or
Lance Gershen (925) 932-1028 or
Secretary: Janice Ransley (925) 944-0162 or
Publicity: Beth Donegan (949) 680-9133 or
Treasurer: Amy Van Voorhis (925) 932-5036 or
Membership: Mitchell Morrison (781) 964-2345 or
Health and Wellness Program: Cathy Hostetler (925) 932-5285
Volunteer Coordinator: Cathy Hostetler (925) 932-5285 or
Information Technology: Sara Allen (925) 296-0221 or
Librarian: Janice Ransley (925) 944-0162 or
Program Chair: Lance Gershen (925) 932-1028 or
Fundraising Chair: Ken Kuhn (925) 588-9837 or
Tremble Clefs: Michael Grupp (925) 451-3389
Caregiver Discussion Group: Jan Alioto (925)890-8937 or
Women's Discussion Group: Rosemary Way (925) 939-7665,
Men's Discussion Group: Derek Ransley (925) 944-0162 or
DBS: Gary Hevener (925) 937-4335 or
Donations and Memorials: Please mail to P.O. Box 3127, Walnut Creek, CA 94598.
Newsletter Editor: TBD - Please email submissions by the 15th to: Abraham Raja at
Disclaimer: This newsletter is published to increase awareness of problems related to Parkinson’s Disease. Neither PNMD nor its members make any warranty or assume any responsibility as to the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information presented. The editor’s opinions are strictly his own.