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When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast: Escaping the darkness of depression with Heather Kennedy

Sarah King, Dr. Shanthipriya Siva, Heather Kennedy, Tim Hague, Larry Gifford and Brian Toronyi.
Sarah King, Dr. Shanthipriya Siva, Heather Kennedy, Tim Hague, Larry Gifford and Brian Toronyi. Larry Gifford

In this special Parkinson’s Awareness Month episode of When Life Gives You Parkinson’s, I chat with Heather Kennedy. Heather, recently named an ambassador to the World Parkinson Congress 2022, is a fierce Parkinson’s advocate from San Francisco. She tackles some tough topics: being a woman with PD, dating with bladder urgency, and depression.

“Depression? It’s tricky,” she says.

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“It creeps up, it lies to you, it tells you that you’re nothing, that you’re useless, and that there are millions and billions of people and you don’t matter.”

Heather’s action plan for emerging from the darkness includes volunteering and making small positive gestures to people in her community. It gives her something to cling to when the blanket of depression envelops her.

READ MORE: When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast — In conversation with Dave Clark

“When depression tries to get me, I think, ‘Hey, people might be depending on me. I’m going to get up for them.’”

The former film and photography production assistant shares her journey online through her alter-ego Kathleen Kiddo, a pen name and a license to be raw, real and revealing.

“I’ve always kept a journal and I love it,” she said. “It’s a way to clarify and share with the world. It’s a little window to these stories, miraculous stories — some of which I don’t even know where they come from. They don’t even belong to me.”

READ MORE: When Life Gives You Parkinson’s podcast — Ending Parkinson’s

When you read her social media posts and blog or watch her videos, you quickly realize Heather is funny, bright, sarcastic, creative, inspiring and always finding new, amazing ways to share her Parkinson’s story.

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If you have a comment or question about the podcast, you can email us at parkinsonspod@curiouscast.ca.

We invite you to add your voice to the show and leave a message for us here.

Follow me, Larry Gifford

Twitter: @ParkinsonsPod

Facebook: Facebook.com/ParkinsonsPod

Instagram: @parkinsonspod

Follow co-host and producer Niki Reitmayer

Twitter: @Niki_Reitmayer

Special thanks to…

Heather Kennedy a.k.a. Kathleen Kiddo. Follow her! www.KathleenKiddo.com,

Disney Pixar’s Inside Out

CBS Mystery Theater

The Creaking Door

Inner Sanctum Radio

The estate of Himan Brown

Speaking of Radio.com…

Our presenting partner is Parkinson Canada.

The organization’s toll-free hotline is 1-800-565-3000.

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Follow Parkinson Canada on Twitter: @ParkinsonCanada

Our content and promotional partners

Parkinson’s IQ + You – A free series of Parkinson’s events from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Spotlight YOPD – The only Parkinson’s organization dedicated to raising awareness for young onset Parkinson’s disease and funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

WPC2022 – Save the date for the sixth World Parkinson Congress, June 7 to 10, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. The only inclusive scientific conference opens its doors to people with Parkinson’s and families.

Links we mentioned and source material for the show:

Sky TV feature article on Dave Clark’s Parkinson’s and his goal to climb to Everest base camp in 2020

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