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 is 84 year old Olive Elaine...

Parkinson’s Walk for a Cure Champion
 is 84 year old Olive Elaine Winter


ASHVILLE – What do you call someone who has spent a lifetime sharing knowledge selflessly…a person who considers it an honor and privilege to humbly help others? What do you say when you see someone who pours their heart in everything they do unselfishly with drive and passion? Someone whose desire in life is helping others so sweetly despite what they are enduring… What do you say when you meet someone who is your superhero? As you stand in the shadow of all this person has done and is doing, suddenly there is so much you want to say but words in these situations are never enough. Your heart swells as You call them a “Champion” but then she quietly lifts her head and whispers humbly, “you can just call me Elaine” as your heart melts and your eyes swell with tears.
It is an honor and privilege to walk this path towards a cure with you, Elaine, “Thank you – You are loved, admired and appreciated beyond all words – Congratulations!”
We would like to congratulate Elaine Winter as the 2018 Parkinson’s Walk Champion! Elaine and her daughter’s family (Paul and Carol Johnson) have been steadfastly working and walking the path to raise awareness regarding Parkinson’s Disease in Circleville and the surrounding community, supporting research, and providing support for local PD patients and their families through the Circleville Walk for a Cure since 2012. Knowing the effects of PD firsthand, she has refused to allow PD to define her! If you would like to join us as we celebrate Elaine’s, please send her a personal congratulations or stop by and meet our champion, she can be reached at:
Pickaway Manor
 391 Clark Drive
 Circleville, Ohio 43113
Elaine was raised in the Ashville area on her Grandparent’s farm, graduated from Ohio University, married a nearby farmer, and raised her two sons and a daughter on that same family farm. She worked as a Home Education teacher for 30 years in the Teays Valley School district, and after retirement worked another 9 years for The Ohio State University Extension Service.
During her last few years at the Extension Service, she began to experience “Parkinson’s” type symptoms which were initially diagnosed as “Parkinsonism”. Elaine continued to work her last 2 years despite her progressing symptoms, but eventually chose to retire once the physical side of her job became too difficult. Her initial symptoms of tremors had progressed to include walking and balance issues requiring the use of a walker. Her job required carrying bags of food and other instructional aids; transporting these to and from her car was now beyond her abilities. Additionally, her driving skills became seriously impaired from difficulties controlling her legs and feet.
She was able to live somewhat independently at home for another 5 years, started a local Parkinson’s support group, and tried to continue a normal life including involvement in AAUW, Pickaway County Retired Teachers Association, her church, and a dining group she dearly enjoyed. Elaine was even able to take a trip to Hawaii with the Pickaway County Senior Citizens Center despite Parkinson’s affecting her walking abilities. Finding a balance in her ever-increasing medicines became a serious challenge, and her abilities to remember which drug to take and when became more than she could comprehend. Hence the need for a part time live-in caregiver which in turn helped to extend her time living at home.
Unfortunately, the demand of “independent living”, even with a part time in-home care giver, exceeded the ability to remain at home. Her medicine regimen became quite complex as her Neurologist continued the struggle to treat her Parkinson’s symptoms. Many times, her family found Elaine on the floor at her home, confused, and sometimes suffering with Lewy Body type symptoms of dementia. Elaine made the difficult decision to leave her home of over 70 years and accept a new residence at Pickaway Manor assisted living facility.
Her first 3 years at Pickaway Manor Elaine was able to live fairly “independently” but eventually with the disease, some imbalances in her medicines and persistent infections resulted in some aggressive behaviors. This problem along with rapidly decreasing fine motor skills required a move for Elaine to a facility which could offer a higher level of assisted living care. During this time, Elaine became significantly more dependent upon others for her care and lost her abilities to enjoy her favorite hobby of sewing as well as written correspondence with longtime friends.
Countless trips to her Neurologist failed to provide any clear answers and relief to some of her less common symptoms of this complex Parkinson’s disease. During this time, she has lived at home with assistance, in an assisted living setting, in a step up assisted living facility, and now in a skilled nursing facility. She has many good days still enjoying company of friends and relatives, but now has transitioned to full time use of a wheelchair or transfer chair. Sadly, her deteriorating condition has made transport outside of the facility much more difficult.
Elaine has been in the hospital so many times that it has become difficult to recall them all, but three times her family was advised that she would not likely survive. Elaine and her family have learned that Parkinson’s progression does not follow any clear path nor is there any “cure” per se. However, for some, Parkinson’s symptoms can be delayed through diet, proper medication, exercise, and occupational/physical therapies. At 84 years old, she knows that Parkinson’s is not likely to be solved in her lifetime. However, she and her family remain focus on the “Walk to find a Cure”.
If you would like to join the fight against Parkinson’s Disease, the Parkinson’s Walk for a Cure is held the last Saturday in April every year! As a community, you can join this circle of family, friends and business leaders as we continue to meet the needs of local families living with the disease as well as supporting national research for a cure. If you would like additional information, please contact Parkinson’s Walk for a Cure on Facebook, [email protected] or 740-412-1030.
Thank you and Congratulations Elaine!
Humbly submitted by Paul and Carol Johnson and The Parkinson’s Walk for a Cure Committee