Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pattie Petty battling Parkinson's disease

Kyle and Pattie Petty along with NASCAR President Mike Helton.
Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

Pattie Petty, wife of retired NASCAR driver turned television analyst Kyle Petty and co-founder of Victory Junction Gang Camp, announced this week that she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease is a disorder affecting the brain and central nervous system that leads to tremors and difficulty with walking, movement and coordination overall. Famous figures Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali are both battling Parkinson's disease.

For Petty, she is all too familiar with the disease - her father lived with it for 15 years. When she herself began to experience the symptoms of tremors and aching muscles in 2010, she suspected the disease's early stages.

In the midst of all this, Petty has been working on Victory Junction Midwest, the camp's new location in Kansas City, and vows to continue her work with the camp for chronically ill children.

In a press release issued by the Pettys and Victory Junction, Pattie said: “This ‘official’ diagnosis does not change our efforts in Kansas City. My hands may not be still, and I might move a bit slower right now, but we are moving full-steam ahead to change the lives of chronically ill children in the Midwest.”

“Pattie’s dedication to Victory Junction Midwest is firm,” said Kyle Petty, her husband of 33 years. “Staying active is an important part of managing Parkinson’s and that will not be hard for my wife. Pattie will not let Parkinson’s regulate her life. She will continue her initiative to expand Victory Junction, while our kids and I will support her and help her cope with this disease.”

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