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Rendell Announces He’s Fighting Parkinsons

Ed Rendell is battling Parkinson’s disease, the former governor and Philadelphia mayor announced Monday at a news conference.

Speaking alongside doctors at the University of Pennsylvania, Rendell, 74, said he was first diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s more than three years ago. Since his diagnosis, medication and physical therapy have stabilized — and in some cases, improved — his symptoms, Rendell said.

“When it happened, I was stunned,” Rendell said. “Stunned because, like many of us, I’d always viewed myself as indestructible.”

Rendell said he first noticed possible Parkinson’s symptoms years ago. Family and friends recommended he consult a doctor, who revealed he had the neurological disorder.

“I started to have some symptoms that worried me a little bit. My hands started to shake a little bit, and I was having more trouble with my balance than usual,” Rendell said.

Doctors recommended medication and physical therapy, and 3 1/2 years later he appeared upbeat about the future.

“The good news is, I can say without fear of contradiction … that my disease has stabilized,” Rendell said. “The progression has, in many ways, stopped. Some of the symptoms I was undergoing are better than they were 3 1/2 years ago.”

The former governor used the opportunity to press others to seek diagnosis and treatment. None of the care he received was limited to powerful political figures, he stressed — anyone with the proper health insurance can get care for the illness.

“It’s not a death sentence, Parkinson’s disease. It doesn’t have to affect your quality of life,” he said.

Penn Medicine rolled out a video Monday on Rendell’s case and the medical system’s treatment options. In the video — which flashes back through Rendell’s political career — Dr. Matthew B. Stern of the University of Pennsylvania details his treatment and status.

“Our treatment for the governor has not been to overload him with high doses of medications that might give him side effects, in order to eliminate his symptoms entirely,” Stern said. “He is intellectually sharp, he is on-target, he is active, he is busy, and our mission is to keep him there.”

Rendell is a towering figure in Pennsylvania politics. He served two terms, from 2003 to 2011, during which he also served a term as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Pennsylvania political figures responded quickly to the news. In a press release and a series of tweets Monday, Gov. Tom Wold wished Rendell well and praised him for encouraging others to seek treatment.

“Frances and I are sending our thoughts and encouragement to our friend Ed Rendell today. Pennsylvania has seen few leaders as tough as Ed and we have full confidence that neither has Parkinson’s disease,” Wolf said. “Ed should know that the entire commonwealth is standing behind him and hoping for the continued success of his treatment and therapy.”

“Thank you @GovEdRendell for coming forward with your fight with Parkinson’s Disease and efforts to inspire others to have symptoms checked for early diagnosis. Parkinson could not have a more formidable adversary,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman wrote on Twitter.


19 Responses

  1. My prayers for Governor Rendell. His coming out will give courage to other people who are living with Parkinsons. Some day… a cure for Parkinsons and other neurological diseases.

  2. This didn’t stop him from posting a prejudicial comment [to which I replied, vide infra, albeit not yet online]:

    h ttp://jewishexponent.c om/2018/06/14/fitzpatrick-accused-of-attending-conference-with-anti-semites/

    [the original posting was by “Republican Jewish Coalition support” June 15, 2018 at 12:30 pm]

    The Republican Jewish Coalition had a private home event in Doylestown recently with U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick and gave him their highest unabashed full support. He said he loves Israel.

    [Reply by E G Rendell June 16, 2018 at 1:38 pm]

    The RJC is comprised of all wealthy right-winged conservatives, dominated by one of Trump’s top donors, Las Vegas casino mogul and NRA boss Sheldon Adelson.

    [my submission]

    I was @ the aforementioned event, and I’m not a “wealthy right-winged conservative” as the typically-political EGR avers; this is too-typical of Dems who fail to recognize how BAD their immediate-past POTUS was toward Israel [as he curried-favor by being disingenuous, so as to kiss-up to the Neo-Nazis in Tehran].

    Such anti-Jewish claims emanate regularly from the Progressives who ultimately cannot accept [1]–electoral results; and [2]–that The Donald is flourishing.

    This claim is reminiscent of Hillary’s “deplorables” and Obama’s “clinging” swipes; it merits condemnation and retraction.

    1. 1) The Donald is floundering.
      2) You love Israel the way the Nazis loved Germany.

      1. @ d2:

        The Donald’s ratings are rising and Americans have a high favorability for country’s direction; as usual, you can’t help demonstrating you’re a loser, for having violated Godwin’s Law.

        1. ht tp://dailyc aller.c om/2018/06/18/american-satisfaction-with-usa-booms/?utm_medium=email


      1. @ ZB:

        You join d2 in posting inanities; another example of your self-referential tendency is noted elsewhere on this website.

        htt p://ww w.polit m/former-allentown-council-president-selected-as-mayor/87062/

        1. I doesn’t know what language ur speaking, but it ain’t English…

          ~ Dr. Zakrey Bissell

  3. The Governor is a fighter. Glad he’s battling and bringing more light to the disease.

  4. Glad to see he is using his position to help educate the public about Parkinson’s! Such a terrible disease, but this could end up helping a lot of people if it prompts them to get checked out and get treatment.

      1. Phil-

        Rendell’s reputation as a philander and skirt chaser is legendary. It is shocking that he has survived the #MeToo movement, though being out of office and irrelevant has probably helped.

    1. I’m a jerk and occasionally a troll but this crosses that line.

      I would never use whatever awful votebuilder knock off you pass off as voter files.

  5. Thanks for posting the video. It’s good to see that the Gov is doing well with this matter.

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