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

October Tri-Valley Meeting Speaker

A Very Special "Thank You"

Insights from a Personal Trainer

PD Bootcamp Changes

PNMD Survey

Be Heard! Voice for Parkinson's

Information and Resources Library

Exercise and Activity Classes

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

Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 9 am-noon
Grace Presbyterian Church, Walnut Creek

Presentation: Yoga and Movement for Wellness Recovery
Speakers: Petra Fibrichova and Jodi Barry

Jodi Barry is a certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT) and instructor (RYT-500) who has personally experienced greater balance in her life and overall wellness through the practice of yoga. Jodi is passionate to share the benefits of yoga with her students with a focus on breath and alignment.

Petra Fibrichova, certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT), has been teaching yoga for the past 5 years. Petra is also a big fan of the PWR moves program, PD specific exercises developed to push against PD symptoms. Petra combines both yoga skills and PWR moves with each class. This makes her classes challenging and engaging. 

Please bring cut-up fruit or your favorite snack to share.
October Tri-Valley Meeting Speaker

Saturday, October 12, 2019, 10 am-noon
Pleasanton Senior Center

Presentation: How PD can Impact Speech and Swallowing and what can be done about it
Speaker: Mandee Starn, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist

A Very Special "Thank You"

Dear Members and Friends,

As you may know, Ronnie Wanetick is retiring from the weekly RonnieGrams by the end of this month. But perhaps, what you did not know, is that Ronnie contributed her services, in numerous ways, with a willing heart and gratitude to benefit PNMD members and the Parkinson’s community at large.

I had the unique opportunity and privilege to observe and work with Ronnie. I am inspired to share some of her accomplishments with you.

Ronnie started out as the membership chair in 2007. She held that post until her Co-Presidency of the group till 2016. Ronnie created the 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday Parkinson’s groups, and helped with fundraisers and brought excellent new talent to the board. She helped bring Carol Fisher and Debbie Sternbach to PNMD.

Ronnie started a Parkinson’s buddy system where two people could get support from each other. This was done in the 9 to 10 o’clock groups. 
She was instrumental in the board rewriting the bylaws with the assistance of our pro bono attorney.

She also represented our group, as a Parkinson’s foundation research advocate, at National Parkinson’s Foundation; and there’s much much more!

We know that our communities become what each one of us as its residents, contribute with our time and talents towards its wellbeing. Ronnie Wanetick gave all that to our community with a willing heart and with such understanding that our hearts goes out to say, WE APPRECIATE YOU RONNIE “THANK YOU”!

With Fondness,

Abraham Raja
Lance Gershen
Co-Presidents. (PNMD)

Insights from a Personal Trainer
By Nancy Henderson

When experiencing the varying symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, we know that the correct medication schedule along with regular exercise are the two most important factors for change-for-the-better to the physical body, to mental clarity and emotional balance.

As a former ballerina, now teaching Pilates classes and doing in-home personal training, I know very well the process of regular, often repetitive, yet challenging physical training. It's as though the consistent input of a combination of particular exercises trains the 'muscle memory' with resulting proficiency and strength. Not only is the musculature trained; but the required cognitive direction is focused in such a way to produce more refined movements and balance. The incorporation of rhythmic breathing invigorates the brain, nervous system and physical body. A fair amount of exertion is necessary to 'jump start' the metabolism. Care must be given to stretching not only the musculature, but the interstitial tissue as well to promote suppleness throughout the body. The feet are crucial to movement, and they need special attention.

In my experience working with people with PD, there are profound benefits from an in-home exercise program tailored to each person. Since each individual has varying symptoms, the approach to the workout sessions must be analyzed and adapted as we work together.

I have observed tremendous changes take place with each individual I have worked with over time.

Improving one's well-being requires an openness to the physical and mental effort required to improve. The determination to work regularly to the best of one's ability is all that it takes. Participating in the process of training in the home, seeing the profound improvement possible, has filled me with joy that sustains me in my work. This mode of training becomes a one-on-one exchange of trust and appreciation — a real anecdote to discouragement.

For further information regarding In-Home Personal Training sessions, contact:
Nancy Henderson: 925/254-0329, 925/548-0445/cell
PD Bootcamp Changes
Dear members of Parkinson’s Network of Mt. Diablo,

I wanted to anounce that the Monday 9:30am PD Bootcamp class I lead at the Grace Presbyterian Church in Walnut Creek has been renamed to Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery® to better reflect what it entails. It’s far from a stern bootcamp!

It’s a really fun class that offers a wide variety of movement and challenges you at the right level. We cover all the key movement “nutrients” that are recommended for a healthy lifestyle – aerobic exercise, flexibility exercise, and strength training. We add yoga, dance, and gait/balance training, and working on everyday functional movements such as turning over in bed, reaching, getting up from a chair, stepping over obstacles or turning.
The class is based on the Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR) program, a research based aerobic exercise program that has been proven to push against PD symptoms such as stooped posture, rigidity, shuffling gate, tremor, balance problems, but also addresses non-motor symptoms, especially executive function. Research suggests that aerobic exercise practiced at vigorous level provides protection for vulnerable neurons, enhances recruitment of damaged circuits and increases dopamine receptors.

The class has a vigorous part but we also learn about the art of mindfulness through centering, breathing and relaxation exercises. I believe that mindfulness is an essential component of a successful PD specific program. Through mindfulness you can learn how to use your breath to keep your mind and body calm and ready to tackle any challenging moments. We also learn to notice unpleasant sensations or emotions from a perspective of a neutral witness – with curiosity and without judgment. Mindfulness is a huge help in dealing with a chronic illness and has been used successfully in many people dealing with chronic pain and other challenging conditions.
The class has a nice flow starting with a slower warm up, followed by a dynamic aerobic PWR!Moves practice (you’ll get sweaty!) and ends with a few yoga poses on the mat and mindful relaxation. You’ll leave feeling looser, empowered, tired, yet relaxed.
I also want to announce that the price of the class is going to increase beginning in September. Drop-in will be $20, 10-class pack $180. Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds so please reach out to me at if you have concerns.

My assistant Mara and I love teaching this class and we look forward to helping you actively push back against your symptoms and thrive. If you’d like to hear more about the research behind PWR! Moves, please come to the Parkinson’s Network of Mt. Diablo meeting on Saturday, Oct 19 th , 2019. I will be one of the speakers there.

Petra Fibrichova

The Survey Says...Part 2
By Derek Ransley

2. The Survey Says ……. that one of the frustrations of PD is the loss of dexterity related to hygiene, dressing, feeding etc. otherwise known as ADL (Activities of Daily Living). 51% of our responders had minor issues related to dexterity loss. Who ever invented those tiny buttons at your shirt-sleeve cuffs? Or the big button above the fly in your pants? When you are in need of a pee, it is more than frustrating when you can’t undo a button. One of the men in our group recommends wearing dark slacks.

You can find an excellent handout on the Library Table that addresses ADLs and the Katz scale of measurement. The Katz Scale focuses on the ability related to bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, and feeding. It is often used to estimate the degree of care needed by an elderly patient.

82% of our members experienced problems with balance . One common component is orthostatic hypertension, or low blood pressure when standing. I have this problem usually when I get out of the car after being driven somewhere (especially if I dozed). So, take it easy and let yourself equilibrate before you go charging off.

62% of our respondents had issues with walking and the literature says that we all run into this problem, sooner or later. 67% of our responders had issues with their gait . Gait refers to the PD shuffle, distinguished by short steps, a forward lean and bent legs. It appears that the person is about to fall.
People with PD turn more slowly than those without PD and are more likely to experience freezing. A person’s risk of falling may depend on how they turn. Four or five steps are required to make a turn and one turns as many as 100 times an hour. When those who don’t have PD walk, there is little problem with balance because the brain adjusts automatically. However, PD destroys this automatic feature. It is as if the person has to learn to walk anew.

Sometimes it seems as if PD is all-encompassing. I even feel that what is left of my hair has PD.

The issues addressed in the first two articles are referred to as movement disorders. We now move to non-motor disorders. It is now recognized as having a major contribution to the woes of PD.

Derek L Ransley (Men with Parkinson’s Facilitator.)

Be Heard! Voice for Parkinson's
Library and Information Resources
To Members and Friends:

As you may know the word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit root word "yuj" meaning to unite or to control. Yoga is regarded as a practice to unite the senses and ultimately, the mind. The practice of yoga is thousands of years old. There are different paths or types of yoga. Mindful hatha yoga is a practice recommended by Jon Kabat-Zinn in his program of MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction). His book, Full Catastrophe Living, is in our library. Because we only have a couple copies of his book, there will be copies of some of the yoga postures he recommends available on the library table this month. Yoga is a powerful way to get in touch with your body, to increase flexibility and balance, and to feel oneself as a whole, accepting our body as it is. There is evidence that practicing yoga deceases anxiety and depression, both symptoms which Parkinson's patients often experience. Yoga therapists Jodi Barry and Petra Fibrichova will speak about the benefits of yoga and their experience with the practice at the general meeting of PNMD Oct 21, 2019.

Be sure to pick up your copy of the Contra Costa Senior Resource Directory 2019-2020 from the library table. Copies of Way To Go Contra Costa County, the transportation resource guide are also available. Besides handouts of yoga postures, articles about the benefits of yoga and PWR moves will be on the library table for you.

The library table also has information about other activities and meetings in the Bay Area as well as books for you to sign out. The library opens at 10:15 and stays open after the main meeting. Please stop by and see what we have that might be of interest to you.

Janice Ransley, M.D. Library Chair

Proceeds from the Jeha Memorial Golf Tournament
(through the Rossmoor Rotary Foundation)

Wells Fargo

Network for Good

Robert Mueller in honor of the wedding of
 Lyte Paulson and John Jeha
PD Exercise Activity Classes


Parkinson's Wellness Recovery, Walnut Creek
Monday, 9:30-10:45 AM, Petra Fibrichova, 510-520-4523
Yoga, Walnut Creek
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
Alexander Technique
Wednesday, 11:00 AM - 12 PM, Lena Hart, 917-806-7929
Be Heard!
Wednesday, 1:30-3 PM, KT Warren, 206-380-4886
Tremble Clefs
Thursday, 1:30-3:00 PM, April Wakeman, 925-276-0463
Rock Steady Boxing, Danville
Tues. & Thur., 12:30 - 2 PM, Daniel Burkhardt, 925-471-5432
Rock Steady Boxing, Concord
Classes Mon. - Sat., Call for times, Multiiple coaches, 925-785-1272

Please contact activity instructor for further details and fees.
Announcements, Meetings and How to Reach Us

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 persons are: Jan Alioto, (925) 890-8937; Sara DeZerega,, 925-377-1004; Janice Ransley,, 925-944-0162.

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. Please bring cut-up fruit or your favorite snack to share.

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 PNMD at (925) 939-4210 or website:

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: April Wakeman (925) 276-0463 or
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.