A Man Named Jim

Me filming Beth and an interviewee (Photo courtesy of Brandie Yates)

Me filming Beth and an interviewee (Photo courtesy of Brandie Yates)

One of my favorite parts about being a journalist is the “newness” part of the job. Everyday, there is something new to be done, to attend, to learn about. Though the basics stay the same (eat, sleep, report), you never know what a day on the job will hold.

Covering the Parkinson’s Walk Event at Okemos High School this past weekend, I had another “newness” moment. Not only had I have never been to a Parkinson’s-related event before, nor have I ever seen people so excited to win coffee mugs (people must love that HOMTV logo) through Plinko, but I met an incredible gentleman named Jim.

As an honorary chair of the event, he was one of the two people I interviewed for a package I had to put together, and boy was he amazing. He started off by telling me he not only had Parkinson’s disease, but before he got it he had been researching this illness along with other neurological diseases for nearly 30 years, never suspecting one day his work would dominate his physical life.

However, what a wonderful man Jim was! His cheerful spirit, continually smiling face, and positive attitude (“I can learn to enjoy anything,” he said) was contagious. Upon telling him what an inspiration he was, Jim scoffed and said the people surrounding him during the event were the true inspirations. I had to just smile and shake my head in wonder at this incredible human being.

Upon leaving him, I told Jim what a delight he had been to meet and talk to. He had responded in the like, ending with a “good luck” and see you later!

I must say, Jim made my day. People like him are what make my major truly worthwhile.

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