Manon Day – Living with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease

“The Movement Disorder Clinic team offers excellent medical care and it really makes all the difference in someone’s life to be treated with humanity.”

My name is Manon Day and I am 34 years old. My first neurological symptoms appeared at age 17. I had neurogenic syncope very often, following vasovagal attack, burning sensation, trouble moving, stiffness, bladder issues and fatigue. Although I have stuttered since childhood, my disorder subsequently got worse to the point where I was slurring my words.

I consulted several neurologists but none were able to diagnose my disease. For the next decade I was left with uncertainty and no answers or treatment.

In 2011, I had the chance to be referred to the Movement Disorder Clinic of The Neuro where I saw Dr. Ron Postuma. He reviewed my family history, ran a very detailed physical examination, ordered some laboratory and imaging tests and he prescribed levodopa.

A few weeks later when I went to my next appointment, I felt a lot better! What a difference it made in my life. The medication helped me tremendously. Dr. Postuma diagnosed me with Young Onset Parkinson’s, a rare form of the disease. Usually, Parkinson’s affects people age 60 and up. I finally knew definitely what was afflicting me for so many years.

Dr. Postuma was the only neurologist who was able to unravel my medical mystery.

Although I was only 27 years old at the time. A few years later, following genetic tests, it was confirmed that I had the PARK2 gene, which has been linked to Parkinson’s disease. I must say that I will be forever grateful to Dr. Postuma because he saved my life.

I would also like to mention that at The Neuro, I receive a full range of services such as physical, occupational, speech therapy and patient education to help me with the management of Parkinson’s disease. I also have access to a nurse clinician whom I can reach anytime.

I strongly recommend The Neuro because the Movement Disorder Clinic team offers excellent medical care and it really makes all the difference in someone’s life to be treated with humanity.

On a different note, I would like to mention that in April 2017, I created a Facebook group: “Everything about Parkinson’s disease”. I now have over 4,000 followers. It’s a very active and informative blog. I can communicate with fellow Parkinson’s patients young and old and help them to cope with their diagnosis.

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The Neuro is a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering the highest quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.