Janet Reno “showed the world that Parkinson’s does not have to define you”

Perspectives

Author: Geoffrey ChangPublished: 8 November 2016

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Janet Reno lead

Campaigners celebrate the life of Janet Reno, former US Attorney General, who died after living with Parkinson’s for more than 20 years


Janet Reno, former US Attorney General under President Bill Clinton, died on Monday at the age of 78 after complications with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s campaigners paid tribute to her as a “legend” for her contribution the Parkinson’s community. She was honorary chair of Moving Day Miami, the National Parkinson Foundation’s fundraising walk, from 2012-2015, and a prominent advocate of Parkinson’s research and awareness.

As the first female Attorney General of the US, Reno served in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 2001. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1995 after noticing a tremor in her left hand, but continued in her government role.

John Kozyak, chairman of the Parkinson’s Foundation, praised the example she set for others living with the condition: “She set an example for people living with Parkinson’s and she set an example for so many more to live life to the fullest, to be humble and to do the right thing. I will never forget how Janet comforted me when my parents were diagnosed with Parkinson’s. She is a legend to me and many.”

Dr Michael Okun, national medical director of the Parkinson’s Foundation and professor and chairman of neurology at the University of Florida, paid tribute to Reno’s determination to not let the disease define her.

“Janet Reno lived two decades with Parkinson’s and was an amazing example to everyone suffering with this disease, showing that it is possible to live a happy life. She showed the world that Parkinson’s does not have to define you,” said Dr Okun.

Janet Reno at the National Parkinson Foundation event, Moving Day Miami

Image credit: National Parkinson Foundation

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