They say laughter is the best medicine.
It sure is for Gerry McComb.
McComb was diagnosed with Parkinson’s five years ago and has two tattoos on his arms. One says ‘live for today and please smile,’ and the other says “a whole lotta shakin going on.’
McComb believes a positive attitude is one of the best ways to deal with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects motor function.
“I get up every morning and attempt to make six people laugh or smile,” he said.
He said while people associate shaking with the disease, it’s the stress and anxiety that is difficult to deal with.
He said some people will be uncomfortable with him shaking, which is why he tries to make jokes about it and put people at ease.
“If you can get the stress and anxiety under control, you’re halfway there,” he said.
McComb said he retired from the car business last year and has dropped 30 pounds. He tries to get an hour of physical activity a day.
When he was first diagnosed, he wasn’t trying to improve his situation.
“I didn’t do anything for four years,” he said.
The 2018 Parkinson’s Super Walk takes place in Collingwood on Sept. 8 at Harbourview Park. Check-in for the walk is at 9:30 a.m., and the walk gets started at 10:30 a.m.
Residents are encouraged to participate and collect pledges, with all money raised going to Parkinson Canada.
McComb said while it’s important for the general public to get educated about Parkinson’s, he said it’s just as important for people with Parkinson’s to gain knowledge.
He said he’s been going to local meetings with residents diagnosed with Parkinson’s and has learned how to deal with the effects of the disease.
He said he suffered from sweating and had a knot in his stomach, and spent a year getting blood tests only to find out information he was looking for at the meeting.
“As much as you know about Parkinson’s, the average Parkinson’s patient probably knows less,” he said.
For more information, or to register, visit