About Me

What am I Working on Now?

In addition to writing on my blog, I have a number of projects on the go:

  1. Get an MSA Support Group active in the GTA (with some extension to Ontario);
  2. Work on a photo book project focusing on 40+ years of outdoor adventures (hiking, skiing, canoeing, etc.); 
  3. Explore technology applications to increase my quality of life.

Stay tuned during the first half of 2012!

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Projects / Initiatives Recently Completed

The following (partial) News Release is a culmination of a significant effort over many months by Bonnie Bereskin (my speech pathologist) and me, with technical web expertise provided by my son, Kevin Walsh.

Speak Up!  Better Speech for People with Parkinson’s

A New Website Introducing a Proven, Cost-Effective Approach to Speech Therapy

February, 2012 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)  Bonnie Bereskin and Paul Walsh are very pleased to announce the first release of the website — Speak Up! — which delivers an innovative, cost-effective voice therapy that works. Many websites describe the problems and losses of Parkinson’s, MSA, PSP, and other neuro-degenerative disorders, but few describe what the individual can do to maintain functioning.

Learn more about Speak Up! at www.parkinsonspeechhelp.com.

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How and Why Did I Start this Blog?

“If it’s too steep, you’re too old.”

I am Paul Walsh and live in Toronto, Canada. The above phrase was on the t-shirt I bought on a ski trip in B.C. back in February 2005 near my 60th birthday. I had been a very active guy for a long time – I hiked, golfed, skied, rode my bike to commute to work, and worked out at the gym.  Little did I know how steep it was going to get.

A few months earlier, in Fall 2004, my dysarthria (difficulty articulating words) had begun. How was I to know it was an early warning flag for something a lot nastier? In March 2008, I was out west skiing with my son Jon in the Rockies. I had a ball – Kicking Horse is a great ski mountain – two months later, my leg muscles stiffened up. In June 2008, I was diagnosed with MSA by the neurologist I had been seeing for the dysarthria.

Paul on his 65th birthday Feb 17 2010

So why did I begin this blog 18 months later? Several reasons. I loved Michael J. Fox’s story ‘Lucky Man’, detailing his early-onset Parkinson’s disease and his subsequent denial, acceptance and research champion phases. I’m no Michael J. Fox, but I have a fire inside me to do something for MSA. It was my speech therapist, Bonnie Bereskin, who suggested that I write a blog. So here I am.

3 responses to “About Me

  1. Mike Gensler

    Hey, Paul! Thanks for taking the plunge. I’ve just been diagnosed w/MSA after struggling with symptoms since January of 2010, tho I put onset as likely June of ’09.

  2. Cyndy

    Foudn your blog and you are very inspiring! I complain about not being able to do certain things in life and I don’t really even have many medical issues. Your story inspired me to shut and start doing life. Thanks! God bless you always. Thanks for being my miracle for today!

  3. Robert Brown

    Thank you so much for your blog. I am really new at this MSA nightmare. I fall sometimes. Balance problems and always leaning to the right is causing very sore muscles in my lower back and upper right shoulder. One thing that really upsets my well being is the constant tremors from the waist up. Especially in my hands and arms. When I am on the computer sometimes I have to shut it off! My hands will not allow me to hit the keys. Eating is awful. I will toss utensils and glasses around the room.
    Once diagnosed with MSA 4 months ago I must admit my life is out of control. Someday’s denial ! Someday’s depression! Someday’s thoughts of suicide! Not being able to deal with the future married to MSA.
    Anyway, thanks for your blog Paul. I live 25 minuets from Ottawa, Ontario in a small village of Embrun. If you ever here of a MSA support group starting up in Ottawa please let me know.

    Even God Must Get the BLUES!
    Robert Brown Sr.

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