An interview with Kat Hill, Ambassador from the Davis Phinney Foundation
on July 28, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Kat Hill is from Portland, OR USA. She believes that we can choose joy in our lives no matter what we are faced with. Movement, mindfulness, and gratitude help her navigate the challenges of living with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease. After her diagnosis at age 48 she left her career as a nurse midwife after delivering over 800 babies.
Now she is an author and advocate for finding wellness despite a diagnosis. She speaks around the world for the World Parkinson Congress and The Davis Phinney Foundation and is a co-founder of the Women’s Parkinson’s Project. Her co-authored book, titled Being Well With Chronic Illness, Hatherleigh Press is available at all book outlets. She also hosts the podcast PD Lemonade on Apple iTunes and Spotify. You can find her at www.kathill.org.
Can you tell me more about your advocacy?
I love working with the Davis Phinney Foundation as an ambassador speaking with newly diagnosed folks and as a speaker in their monthly webinar meet ups. I also enjoy working with the World Parkinson Congress on the planning committee, speaking and facilitating discussions. I have hosted a podcast called PD Lemonade during COVID. I am an author (co-author) of a book about wellness. I have also worked with the PD Avengers co-authoring some breakthrough research about Women and PD.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
I was diagnosed with YOPD over 8 years ago and it sparked my interest.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s awareness have when working with you?
I want everyone I work with that I truly believe we all deserve joy no matter what life brings us. No matter if it is a diagnosis, loss, or crisis.
What effect can your advocacy have on an individual with Parkinson’s awareness?
I believe I can offer a unique perspective as a daughter of a father with PD, as a woman diagnosed with YOPD and as a health care provider. I care deeply that others learn about how the important story we tell is to ourselves. Language is powerful.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your advocacy?
I am very passionate about expanding our knowledge and research about women with PD. I also hope to play a role in making medications available worldwide to those living with PD. I’d also like to write at least one more book.
What events do you participate in?
Oh my….many. I was on the WPC planning committee. I participate in 2 PD Avenger work groups on women and medication equity. I was on tow work groups for the WPC – YOPD women and YOPD.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
I think care partners, caregivers and carers also deserve joy and tools to help them define their stories. I believe communication is the key to a successful partnership between those with PD and those helping to care for them.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson community, what would it be?
“I choose joy”