Charlotte Juarez on Advocacy

An interview with Charlotte Juarez about Advocacy October 19, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.



Charlotte Juarez was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2021 at age 51. Although the news was devastating, she was determined to not let Parkinson’s define her and she’s been going nonstop ever since.

Soon after her diagnosis, Charlotte joined several online support groups and was disheartened to hear from so many living with Parkinson’s who felt hopeless and alone. Others stated they knew how important exercise is for those with the disease, but they were unsure how to start exercising when it wasn’t part of their regular routines.

That led her to launch her YouTube channel, The OWL (for The Old White Lady), with exercise and motivational videos to encourage others with the disease to stay healthy and positive.  She also posts videos of her experiences with Parkinson’s to encourage others to know they’re not alone in whatever they’re going through with this disease, and she’s pledged to donate 50% of any revenue the channel generates from ads toward Parkinson’s research.

In 2021, Charlotte joined the Davis Phinney Foundation as its first ambassador for Virginia, providing resources and support to people with Parkinson’s, both within and outside of her state.  She is currently working on connecting with the many support groups throughout Virginia to offer Davis Phinney Foundation resources and to share her journey with Parkinson’s.

Early 2023, Charlotte started a small business making polymer clay jewelry.  She’s always enjoyed crafting and fell in love with the creativity of it and decided to parlay it into something meaningful.  Her business, PD bijoux, features the slogan, “Jewelry made by one person with Parkinson’s to help everyone with Parkinson’s,” and as with the YouTube channel, she donates 50% of her sales to Parkinson’s research.

Charlotte remains active and positive and works tirelessly to raise awareness and improve the lives of those impacted with this disease.  She states she’s an optimist and believes she will live well with Parkinson’s, but that she’s also a realist and accepts that her future is uncertain, so this disease reminds her to better appreciate each day.  She’s been married for over 30 years to her best friend and has two wonderful sons, two beautiful daughters-in-law, and one amazing grandchild.  Family is her greatest blessing and their continuous love and support have helped give her the strength and determination to be a Parkinson’s warrior.

Charlotte always wanted to make a difference in some way and while she never expected it to be through Parkinson’s, she feels she’s found a community of resilient warriors and is grateful to be on this journey with them.



Please tell me a little about your background and what got you involved with awareness.


I was diagnosed in early 2021.  My grandfather had Parkinson’s, but I’ve had two genetic tests done, neither showing a predisposition.  I met several people after being diagnosed who felt depressed and alone with this disease, so my activities have focused on encouraging others to stay positive and active.


Can you tell me more about your advocacy?


I started a YouTube channel ( offering exercise and motivational videos that I hope motivate and inspire others to live well with PD, and this year I turned crafting with polymer clay into a jewelry business donating 50% of sales to research.  As of today, I’ve donated over $700 to PD research from jewelry sales.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


I’m passionate about bringing awareness to PD and helping raise funds for research for a cure and improving the lives of those of us with this disease.  I joined the Davis Phinney Foundation as the first Virginia Ambassador and enjoy my interactions with people both in and outside of my state as I try to help them navigate this journey, we’re on together.  There’s a lot of resources available and I want to help ensure everyone has access to it to make well informed decisions about their health.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?


Most people I’ve spoken to are looking for resources and just want to be heard.  They’re often newly diagnosed and are scared, and I remind them they’re not alone and offer my availability anytime they want to talk.  I’ve made several friends in this community through this process.


What type of training and how long are the programs?


I’ve received ambassador training through the Davis Phinney Foundation but they’re largely supportive of identifying our own strengths and working within our communities to provide resources to people as needed.

My YouTube channel includes exercises and motivations that are helpful to me on this journey and while I am clear that I’m not a physician or a certified personal trainer, I do hope that my videos are relatable and encourage others to stay positive.


What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


I hope my efforts have a positive effect on others with PD so they, too, can live healthy and positive lives.

What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?


I want to see my YouTube channel continue to grow so that the channel can earn revenue from ads so I can donate 50% of that revenue to PD research.  My jewelry business is off to a great start and I’m hopeful by the end of the year to have donated over $1,000 from sales.


What events do you participate in?


I frequently participate in various fundraising events with the Fox Foundation, Davis Phinney Foundation, and American Parkinson Disease Association.  I also show my jewelry at craft fairs and PD events.


How does this also assist the caregivers?


The organizations I donate to (DPF, APDA, etc) offer care partner resources so funding donated supports those efforts.  The exercise and motivations I offer can benefit everyone and I have occasionally posted interviews and motivational videos aimed specifically at care partners.

How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?


People can reach me at  My jewelry site is  I’m also on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook under charlotteistheowl.


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson community, what would it be?


You are not alone!